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.., ."27. 







HovtJ &{)anceUor of 





Thomas White, Printer, 
Crane Court. 



THIS Volume contains 
I. Speeches. 

1 . Touching Purveyors (a) 3 

2. About Undertakers (a) . . 13 
^3. To the King upon the Grievances 

of the Commons (a) . Q3 

4. On Wards and Tenures(tf) . 26 
Declaration for the Master of the 

Wards (a) . . 3% 
On receiving the King s Messages 39 
Concerning Impositions on Mer 
chandizes (a) (c 1 ) . . 44 

7. To grant supplies to the King (a) . 56 

8. Relating to the Mint (V) . .58 

9. To the Speaker s excuse . 65 
10. On the Motion of a Subsidy (a) . 75 

(a) Of the different tracts to which the letter a, is annexed 
there are MSS in the Lansdown collection in the British Mu 


(c) Of this there is a MS in the Harleian collection. 



II Charges. 

1 . Commission for the Verge (a) 85 

2. Of Subordinate Magistrates . 103 

3. Against Duels . .108 
Decree of Star Chamber against 

Duels . . .125 

4. Against Mr. Oliver St. John . .138 

5. Mr. Lumsden, &c. (a) . 154 

6. Lord Sanquhar (a) (b) . 167 

7. Mr. Owen (a) . .172 

8. Countess of Somerset (a) 181 

9. Earl of Somerset (a) (6) (d). 20 1 

Letter to the King . 219 
To Sir G. Villiers . 22 1 

To the King . . 228 

To Sir G. Villiers . 233 

Of Somerset s arraignment 235 
To the King about Somer 
set s examination . 238 
10. William Talbot (a) 452 

III. Papers relating to the Earl of Essex. (e) 

Apology of Sir Francis Bacon . . 245 
The Proceedings of the Earl of Essex() 277 
Declarations of his Treasons . . 299 
Arraignment of Blunt, Davis, &c. . 357 

(6) Of this there is a MS in the Sloane collection. 

(d) Of this there is also a MS in the Hargrave collection. 

(e) There are MSS in the Sloane collection of the letters as 
from Anthony Bacon to the Queen. 



Arraignment of Cuffe . . .361 

ofMerrick . . 363 

Confession of Lee .... 364 

ofKnowd . . .367 

of Gorge . . .369 

Confession of Sir J. Davis . . 373 

of Sir C. Davers . . 375 

of Sir C. Blunt . . 378, 391 

of Lord Sandys . . 388 

of the Earl of Essex . 397 

Declaration of Sir William Warren . 365 

of Thomas Wood . . 336 

of David Hethrington . 368 

of The Lord Keeper , 382 

Examination of Lord Rutland . . 335 

of Lord Cromwell . . 390 

of Lord Southampton . 392 

Advice to Sir George Villiers . . 400 







In the Parliament heldPrimo et Secundo JACOBI, the First Session. 

IT is well known to your majesty, excellent king, 
that the emperors of Rome, for their better glory 
and ornament, did use in their titles the additions of 
the countries and nations where they had obtained 
victories ; as " Germanicus, Britannicus," and the 
like. But after all those names, as in the higher 
place, followed the name of " Pater Patrige," as the 
greatest name of all human honour immediately pro 
ceeding that name of Augustus ; whereby they took 
themselves to express some affinity that they had, 
in respect of their office, with divine honour. Your 
majesty might, with good reason, assume to your 
self many of those other names ; as " Germani- 
" cus, Saxonicus, Britannicus, Francicus, Danicus, 
" Gothicus," and others, as appertaining to you not by 
bloodshed, as they bare them, but by blood ; your 


majesty s royal person being a noble confluence of 
streams and veins wherein the royal blood of many 
kingdoms of Europe are met and united. But no 
name is more worthy of you, nor may more truly 
be ascribed unto you, than that name of father of 
your people, which you bear and express not in the 
formality of your stile, but in the real course of 
your government. We ought not to say unto you 
as was said to Julius Caesar, " Quas miremur, habe- 
" mus ; qua? laudemus, expectamus :" that we have 
already wherefore to admire you, and that now 
we expect somewhat for which to commend you ; 
for we may, without suspicion of flattery, acknow 
ledge, that we have found in your majesty great 
cause, both of admiration and commendation. For 
great is the admiration, wherewith you have pos 
sessed us since this parliament began in those two 
causes wherein we have had access unto you, and 
heard your voice, that of the return of Sir Francis 
Goodwin, and that of the union; whereby it seemeth 
unto us, the one of these being so subtle a question 
of law ; and the other so high a cause of estate, 
that as the Scripture saith of the wisest king, " that 
his heart was as the sands of the sea ;" which though 
it be one of the largest and vastest bodies, yet it con- 
sisteth of the smallest motes and portions ; so, I say, 
it appeareth unto us in these two examples, that 
God hath given your majesty a rare sufficiency, both 
to compass and fathom the greatest matters, and to 
discern the least. And for matter of praise and 
commendation, which chiefly belongeth to goodness, 


we cannot but with great thankfulness profess, that 
your majesty, within the circle of one year of your 
reign, " infra orbem anni vertentis," hath endea 
voured to unite your Church, which was divided ; 
to supply your nobility, which was diminished ; and 
to ease your people in cases where they were bur 
dened and oppressed. 

In the last of these your high merits, that is, the 
ease and comfort of your people, doth fall out to be 
comprehended the message which I now bring unto 
your majesty, concerning the great grievance arising 
by the manifold abuses of purveyors, differing in 
some degree from most of the things wherein we 
deal and consult ; for it is true, that the knights, 
citizens, and burgesses, in parliament assembled, are 
a representative body of your Commons and third 
estate ; and in many matters, although we apply 
ourselves to perform the trust of those that chose us, 
yet it may be, we do speak much out of our own 
senses and discourses. But in this grievance, being 
of that nature whereunto the poor people is most 
exposed, and men of quality less, we shall most 
humbly desire your majesty to conceive, that your 
majesty doth not hear our opinions or senses, but 
the very groans and complaints themselves of your 
Commons more truly and vively, than by represen 
tation. For there is no grievance in your kingdom 
so general, so continual, so sensible, and so bitter 
unto the common subject, as this whereof we now 
speak ; wherein it may please your majesty to vouch 
safe me leave, first, to set forth unto you the dutiful 


and respective carriage of our proceeding ; next, the 
substance of our petition ; and thirdly, some rea 
sons and motives which in all humbleness we do 
offer to your majesty s royal consideration or com 
miseration ; we assuring ourselves that never king 
reigned that had better notions of head, and mo 
tions of heart, for the good and comfort of his lov 
ing subjects. 

For the first : in the course of remedy which we 
desire, we pretend not, nor intend not, in any sort, 
to derogate from your majesty s prerogative, nor to 
touch, diminish, or question any of your majesty s 
regalities or rights. For we seek nothing but the 
reformation of abuses, and the execution of former 
laws whereunto we are born. And although it be 
no strange thing in parliament for new abuses to 
crave new remedies, yet nevertheless in these abuses, 
which if not in nature, yet in extremity and height 
of them, are most of them new, we content our 
selves with the old laws : only we desire a confirma 
tion and quickening of them in their execution ; so 
far are we from any humour of innovation or en 

As to the court of the green-cloth, ordained for 
the provision of your majesty s most honourable 
household, we hold it ancient, we hold it reverend. 
Other courts respect your politic person, but that 
respects your natural person. But yet, notwith 
standing, most excellent king, to use that freedom 
which to subjects that pour out their griefs before so 
gracious a king, is allowable, we may very well 


allege unto your majesty, a comparison or simili 
tude used by one of the fathers* in another matter, 
and not unfitly representing our case in this point : 
and it is of the leaves and roots of nettles ; the leaves 
are venomous and stinging where they touch; the 
root is not so, but is without venom or malignity ; 
and yet it is that root that bears and supports all the 
leaves. This needs no farther application. 

To come now to the substance of our petition. 
It is no other, than by the benefit of your majesty s 
laws to be relieved of the abuses of purveyors ; which 
abuses do naturally divide themselves into three 
sorts : the first, they take in kind that they ought 
not to take ; the second, they take in quantity a far 
greater proportion than cometh to your majesty s 
use ; the third, they take in an unlawful manner, in 
a manner, I say, directly and expressly prohibited by 
divers laws. 

For the first of these, I am a little to alter their 
name ; for instead of takers, they become taxers ; 
instead of taking provision for your majesty s service, 
they tax your people " ad redimendam vexationem:" 
imposing upon them, and extorting from them, divers 
sums of money, sometimes in gross, sometimes in 
the nature of stipends annually paid, " ne noceant," 
to be freed and eased of their oppression. Again, 
they take trees, which by law they cannot do ; 
timber-trees, which are the beauty, countenance, 
and shelter of men s houses ; that men have long 
spared from their own purse and profit ; that men 

* St. Augustine. 


esteem, for their use and delight, above ten times 
the value ; that are a loss which men cannot repair 
or recover. These do they take, to the defacing 
and spoiling of your subjects mansions and dwell 
ings, except they may be compounded with to their 
own appetites. And if a gentleman be too hard for 
them while he is at home, they will watch their 
time when there is but a bailiff or a servant re 
maining, and put the ax to the root of the tree, ere 
ever the master can stop it. Again, they use a 
strange and most unjust exaction, in causing the 
subjects to pay poundage of their own debts, due 
from your majesty unto them; so as a poor man, 
when he hath had his hay, or his wood, or his 
poultry, which perchance he was full loth to part 
with, and had for the provision of his own family, 
and not to put to sale, taken from him, and that not 
at a just price, but under the value, and cometh to 
receive his money, he shall have after the rate of 
twelve pence in the pound abated for poundage 
of his due payment, upon so hard conditions. Nay 
farther, they are grown to that extremity, as is 
affirmed, though it be scarce credible, save that in 
such persons all things are credible, that they will 
take double poundage, once when the debenture 
is made, and again the second time when the money 
is paid. 

For the second point, most gracious sovereign, 
touching the quantity which they take, far above 
that which is answered to your majesty s use : they 
are the only multipliers in the world ; they have the 


art of multiplication. For it is affirmed unto me by 
divers gentlemen of good report, and experience in 
these causes, as a matter which I may safely avouch 
before your majesty, to whom we owe all truth, as 
well of information as subjection, that there is no 
pound profit which redoundeth to your majesty in 
this course, but induceth and begetteth three pound 
damage upon your subjects, besides the discontent 
ment. And to the end they may make their spoil 
more securely, what do they ? Whereas divers 
statutes do strictly provide, that whatsoever they 
take, shall be registered and attested, to the end, 
that by making a collation of that which is taken 
from the country, and that which is answered above, 
their deceits might appear ; they, to the end to 
obscure their deceits, utterly omit the observation 
of this, which the law prescribeth. 

And therefore to descend, if it may please your 
majesty, to the third sort of abuse, which is of the 
unlawful manner of their taking, whereof this omis 
sion is a branch ; and it is so manifold, as it rather 
asketh an enumeration of some of the particulars, 
than a prosecution of all. For their price : by law 
they ought to take as they can agree with the sub 
ject ; by abuse they take at an imposed and enforced 
price : by law they ought to make but one apprise- 
ment by neighbours in the country ; by abuse they 
make a second apprisement at the court-gate ; and 
when the subject s cattle come up many miles lean, 
and out of plight, by reason of their great travel, 
then they prize them anew at an abated price : by 


law they ought to take between sun and sun ; by 
abuse they take by twilight, and in the night-time, 
a time well chosen for malefactors : by law they 
ought not to take in the highways, a place by your 
majesty s high prerogative protected, and by statute 
by special words excepted, by abuse they take in 
the ways, in contempt of your majesty s prerogative 
and laws : by law they ought to shew their com 
mission, and the form of commission is by law set 
down ; the commissions they bring down, are against 
the law, and because they know so much, they will 
not shew them. A number of other particulars there 
are, whereof as I have given your majesty a taste, 
so the chief of them upon deliberate advice are set 
down in writing by the labour of some committees, 
and approbation of the whole house, more particu 
larly and lively than I can express them, myself 
having them at the second hand by reason of my 
abode above. But this writing is a collection of 
theirs who dwell amongst the abuses of these 
offenders, and the complaints of the people ; and 
therefore must needs have a more perfect under 
standing of all the circumstances of them. 

It remaineth only that I use a few words, the 
rather to move your majesty in this cause : a few 
words, I say a very few ; for neither need so great 
enormities any aggravating, neither needeth so great 
grace, as useth of itself to flow from your majesty s 
princely goodness, any artificial persuading. There 
be two things only which I think good to set before 
your majesty ; the one the example of your most 


noble progenitors kings of this realm, who from the 
first king that endowed this kingdom with the 
great charters of their liberties, until the last, all 
save one, who as he was singular in many excellent 
things, so I would he had not been alone in this, 
have ordained, every one of them in their several 
reigns, some laws or law against this kind of 
offenders ; and especially the example of one of 
them, that king, who for. his greatness, wisdom, 
glory, and union of several kingdoms, resembleth 
your majesty most, both in virtue and fortune, 
King Edward III. who, in his time only, made ten 
several laws against this mischief. The second is 
the example of God himself; who hath said and 
pronounced, ft That he will not hold him guiltless 
" that taketh his name in vain." For all these great 
misdemeanors are committed in and under your 
majesty s name : and therefore we hope your ma 
jesty will hold them twice guilty that commit these 
offences ; once for the oppressing of the people, and 
once more for doing it under the colour and abuse 
of your majesty s most dreaded and beloved name. 
So then I will conclude with the saying of Pindarus, 
" Optima res aqua ;" not for the excellency, but for 
the common use of it ; and so contrariwise the matter 
of abuse of purveyance, if it be not the most heinous 
abuse, yet certainly it is the most common and 
general abuse of all others in this kingdom. 

It resteth, that, according to the command laid 
upon me, I do in all humbleness present this writing 


to your majesty s royal hands, with most humble 
petition on the behalf of the Commons, that as your 
majesty hath been pleased to vouchsafe your gracious 
audience to hear me speak, so you would be pleased 
to enlarge your patience to hear this writing read, 
which is more material. 








[In the Parliament 12 JACOBI.] 


I HAVE been hitherto silent in this matter of under 
taking, wherein, as I perceive, the house is much 

First, because, to be plain with you, I did not 
well understand what it meant, or what it was ; and 
I do not love to offer at that, that I do not throughly 
conceive. That private men should undertake for 
the commons of England ! why, a man might as well 
undertake for the four elements. It is a thing so 
giddy, and so vast, as cannot enter into the brain of 
a sober man : and especially in a new parliament ; 
when it was impossible to know who should be of 
the parliament : and when all men, that know never 
so little the constitution of this house, do know it to 
be so open to reason, as men do not know when they 


enter into these doors what mind themselves will be 
of, until they hear things argued and debated. Much 
less can any man make a policy of assurance, what 
ship shall come safe home into the harbour in these 
seas. I had heard of undertakings in several kinds. 
There were undertakers for the plantations of Derry 
and Colerane in Ireland, the better to command and 
bridle those parts. There were, not long ago, some 
undertakers for the north-west passage : and now 
there are some undertakers for the project of dyed 
and dressed cloths ; and, in short, every novelty useth 
to be strengthened and made good by a kind of un 
dertaking ; but for the ancient parliament of Eng 
land, which moves in a certain manner and sphere, 
to be undertaken, it passes my reach to conceive 
what it should be. Must we be all dyed and dressed, 
and no pure whites amongst us ? Or must there 
be a new passage found for the king s business by a 
point of the compass that was never sailed by before? 
Or must there be some forts built in this house that 
may command and contain the rest ? Mr. Speaker, 
I know but two forts in this house which the king 
ever hath ; the fort of affection, and the fort of rea 
son : the one commands the hearts, and the other 
commands the heads ; and others I know none. I 
think yEsop was a wise man that described the na 
ture of the fly that sat upon the spoke of the chariot 
wheel, and said to herself, " What a dust do I raise ?" 
So, for my part, I think that all this dust is raised 
by light rumours and buzzes, and not upon any 
solid ground. 


The second reason that made me silent was, be 
cause this suspicion and rumour of undertaking 
settles upon no person certain. It is like the birds 
of Paradise that they have in the Indies, that have 
no feet ; and therefore they never light upon any 
place, but the wind carries them away : and such a 
thing do I take this rumour to be. 

And lastly, when that the king had in his two 
several speeches freed us from the main of our fears, 
in affirming directly that there was no undertaking 
to him ; and that he would have taken it to be no 
less derogation to his own majesty than to our merits, 
to have the acts of his people transferred to particu 
lar persons ; that did quiet me thus far, that these 
vapours were not gone up to the head, howsoever 
they might glow and estuate in the body. 

Nevertheless, since I perceive that this cloud still 
hangs over the house, and that it may do hurt, as 
well in fame abroad as in the king s ear, I resolved 
with myself to do the part of an honest voice in this 
house to counsel you what I think to be for the best. 

Wherein first, I will speak plainly of the per 
nicious effects of the accident of this bruit and 
opinion of undertaking, towards particulars, towards 
the house, towards the king, and towards the peo 

Secondly, I will tell you, in mine opinion, what 
undertaking is tolerable, and how far it may be jus 
tified with a good mind ; and on the other side, this 
same ripping up of the question of undertakers, how 


far it may proceed from a good mind, and in what 
kind it may be thought malicious and dangerous. 

Thirdly, I will give you my poor advice, what 
means there are to put an end to this question of 
undertaking ; not falling for the present upon a pre 
cise opinion, but breaking it, how many ways there 
be by which you may get out of it, and leaving the 
choice of them to a debate at the committee. 

And lastly, I will advise you how things are to 
be handled at the committee, to avoid distraction 
and loss of time. 

For the first of these, I can say to you but as the 
Scripture saith, " Si invicem mordetis, ab invicem 
consumemini ;" if ye fret and gall one another s re 
putation, the end will be, that every man shall go 
hence, like coin cried down, of less price than he 
came hither. If some shall be thought to fawn upon 
the king s business openly, and others to cross it se 
cretly, some shall be thought practisers that would 
pluck the cards, and others shall be thought papists 
that would shuffle the cards ; what a misery is this 
that we should come together to fool one another, 
instead of procuring the public good ! 

And this ends not in particulars, but will make 
the whole house contemptible : for now I hear men 
say, that this question of undertaking is the predo 
minant matter of this house. So that we are now 
according to the parable of Jotham in the case of the 
trees of the forest, that when question was, Whether 
the vine should reign over them ? that might not be : 


and whether the olive should reign over them ? that 
might not be : but we have accepted the bramble to 
reign over us. For it seems that the good vine of 
the king s graces, that is not so much in esteem ; and 
the good oil, whereby we should salve and relieve 
the wants of the estate and crown, that is laid aside 
too : and this bramble of contention and emulation ; 
this Abirnelech, which, as was truly said by an under 
standing gentleman, is a bastard, for every fame that 
wants a head, is " filius populi," this must reign and 
rule amongst us. 

Then for the king, nothing can be more oppo 
site, " ex diametro," to his ends and hopes, than this : 
for you have heard him profess like a king, and like 
a gracious king, that he doth not so much respect 
his present supply, as this demonstration that the 
people s hearts are more knit to him than before. 
Now then if the issue shall be this, that whatsoever 
shall be done for him shall be thought to be done 
but by a number of persons that shall be laboured 
and packed ; this will rather be a sign of diffidence 
and alienation, than of a natural benevolence and 
affection in his people at home ; and rather matter 
of disreputation, than of honour abroad. So that, 
to speak plainly to you, the king were better call for 
a new pair of cards, than play upon these if they be 

And then for the people, it is my manner 

ever to look as well beyond a parliament as upon 

a parliament ; and if they abroad shall think 

themselves betrayed by those that are their de- 

VOL. vi. c 


puties and attorneys here, it is true we may bind 
them and conclude them, but it will be with such 
murmur and insatisfaction as I would be loth to 

These things might be dissembled, and so things 
left to bleed inwards ; but that is not the way to 
cure them. And therefore I have searched the sore, 
in hope that you will endeavour the medicine. 

But this to do more throughly, I must proceed 
to my second part, to tell you clearly and distinctly 
what is to be set on the right hand, and what on the 
left, in this business. 

First, if any man hath done good offices to advise 
the king to call a parliament, and to increase the 
good affection and confidence of his majesty towards 
his people ; I say, that such a person doth rather 
merit well, than commit any error. Nay further, 
if any man hath, out of his own good mind, given an 
opinion touching the minds of the parliament in 
general ; how it is probable they are like to be found, 
and that they will have a due feeling of the king s 
wants, and will not deal drily or illiberally with 
him ; this man, that doth but think of other men s 
minds, as he finds his own, is not to be blamed. 
Nay further, if any man hath coupled this with 
good wishes and propositions, that the king do 
comfort the hearts of his people, and testify his own 
love to them, by filing off the harshness of his pre 
rogative, retaining the substance and strength ; and 
to that purpose, like the good householder in the 
Scripture, that brought forth old store and new, 


hath revolved the petitions and propositions of the 
last parliament, and added new ; I say, this man 
hath sown good seed ; and he that shall draw him 
into envy for it, sows tares. Thus much of the 
right hand. But on the other side, if any shall 
mediately or immediately infuse into his majesty, or 
to others, that the parliament is, as Cato said of the 
Romans, " like sheep, that a man were better drive 
" a flock of them than one of them :" and however 
they may be wise men severally, yet in this assembly 
they are guided by some few, which if they be 
made and assured, the rest will easily follow : this is 
a plain robbery of the king of honour, and his sub 
jects of thanks, and it is to make the parliament vile 
and servile in the eyes of their sovereign ; and I 
count it no better than a supplanting of the king and 
kingdom. Again, if a man shall make this impres 
sion, that it shall be enough for the king to send us 
some things of shew that may serve for colours, and 
let some eloquent tales be told of them, and that will 
serve " ad faciendum populum ;" any such person 
will find that this house can well skill of false lights, 
and that it is no wooing tokens, but the true love 
already planted in the breasts of the subjects, that 
will make them do for the king. And this is my 
opinion touching those that may have persuaded a 
parliament. Take it on the other side, for I mean 
in all things to deal plainly, if any man hath been 
diffident touching the call of a parliament, thinking 
that the best means were, first for the king to make 
his utmost trial to subsist of himself, and his own 


means ; I say, an honest and faithful heart might 
consent to that opinion, and the event, it seems, 
doth not greatly discredit it hitherto. Again, if 
any man shall have heen of opinion, that it is not a 
particular party that can bind the house ; nor that 
it is not shews or colours can please the house ; I 
say, that man, though his speech tend to discourage 
ment, yet it is coupled with providence. But, by 
your leave, if any man, since the parliament was 
called, or when it was in speech, shall have laid 
plots to cross the good will of the parliament to the 
king, by possessing them that a few shall have the 
thanks, and that they are, as it were, bought and 
sold, and betrayed ; and that that which the king 
offers them are but baits prepared by particular 
persons ; or have raised rumours that it is a packed 
parliament ; to the end nothing may be done, but 
that the parliament may be dissolved, as gamesters 
use to call for new cards, when they mistrust a pack : 
I say, these are engines and devices naught, malign, 
and seditious. 

Now for the remedy ; I shall rather break the 
matter, as I said in the beginning, than advise posi 
tively. I know but three ways. Some message of 
declaration to the king ; some entry or protestation 
amongst ourselves ; or some strict and punctual ex 
amination. As for the last of these, I assure you I 
am not against it, if I could tell where to begin, or 
where to end. For certainly I have often seen it, 
that things when they are in smother trouble more 
than when they break out. Smoke blinds the eyes, 


but when it blazeth forth into flame it gives light to 
the eyes. But then if you fall to an examination, 
some person must be charged, some matter must be 
charged ; and the manner of that matter must be 
likewise charged ; for it may be in a good fashion, 
and it may be in a bad, in as much difference 
as between black and white : and then how far men 
will ingenuously confess, how far they will politicly 
deny, and what we can make and gather upon their 
confession, and how we shall prove against their 
denial ; it is an endless piece of work, and I doubt 
that we shall grow weary of it. 

For a message to the king, it is the course I like 
best, so it be carefully and considerately handled: 
for if we shall represent to the king the nature of 
this body as it is, without the veils or shadows that 
have been cast upon it, I think we shall do him 
honour, and ourselves right. 

For any thing that is to be done amongst our 
selves, I do not see much gained by it, because it 
goes no farther than ourselves ; yet if any thing can 
be Wisely conceived to that end, I shall not be 
against it; but I think the purpose of it is fittest to 
be, rather that the house conceives that all this 
is but a misunderstanding, than to take knowledge 
that there is indeed a just ground, and then to seek, 
by a protestation, to give it a remedy. For pro 
testations, and professions, and apologies, I never 
found them very fortunate ; but they rather increase 
suspicion than clear it. 


Why then the last part is, that these things be 
handled at the committee seriously and temperately; 
wherein I wish that these four degrees of questions 
were handled in order. 

First, whether we shall do any thing at all in it, 
or pass by it, and let it sleep ? 

Secondly, whether we shall enter into a particular 
examination of it ? 

Thirdly, whether we shall content ourselves with 
some entry or protestation among ourselves ? 

And fourthly, whether we shall proceed to a 
message to the king ; and what ? 

Thus I have told you my opinion. I know it 
had been more safe and politic to have been silent ; 
but it is perhaps more honest and loving to speak. 
The old verse is " Nam nulli tacuisse nocet, nocet 
" esse locutum." But, by your leave, David saith, 
" Silui a bonis, et dolor meus renovatus est." When 
a man speaketh, he may be wounded by others ; 
but if he hold his peace from good things, he 
wounds himself. So I have done my part, and 
leave it to you to do that which you shall judge to 
be the best. 








THE knights, citizens, and burgesses assembled in 
parliament, in the house of your commons, in all 
humbleness do exhibit and present unto your most 
sacred Majesty, in their own words, though by my 
hand, their petitions and grievances. They are here 
conceived and set down in writing, according to an 
cient custom of parliament : they are also prefaced 
according to the manner and taste of these later 
times. Therefore for me to make any additional 
preface, were neither warranted nor convenient ; 
especially speaking before a king, the exactness of 
whose judgment ought to scatter and chase away 
all unnecessary speech as the sun doth a vapour. 
This only I must say ; since this session of parlia 
ment we have seen your glory in the solemnity of 
the creation of this most noble prince ; we have 


heard your wisdom in sundry excellent speeches 
which you have delivered amongst us ; now we 
hope to find and feel the effects of your goodness, in 
your gracious answer to these our petitions. For this 
we are persuaded, that the attribute which was given 
by one of the wisest writers to two of the best emperors, 
"Divus Nerva et divus Trajanus," so saith Tacitus, 
" res olim insociabiles miscuerunt, imperium et liber- 
tatem ;" may be truly applied to your majesty. For 
never was there such a conservator of regality in a 
crown, nor ever such a protector of lawful freedom 
in a subject. 

Only this, excellent sovereign, let not the sound 
of grievances, though it be sad, seem harsh to your 
princely ears: it is but " gemitus columbae," the mour- 
ing of a dove ; with that patience and humility of 
heart which appertained to loving and loyal subjects. 
And far be it from us, but that in the midst of the 
sense of our grievances we should remember and ac 
knowledge the infinite benefits, which by your ma 
jesty, next under God, we do enjoy ; which bind us 
to wish unto your life fulness of days ; and unto your 
line royal, a succession and continuance even unto 
the world s end. 

It resteth, that unto these petitions here in 
cluded I do add one more that goeth to them all : 
which is, that if in the words and frame of them 
there be any thing offensive ; or that we have ex 
pressed ourselves otherwise than we should or would ; 
that your majesty would cover it and cast the veil of 
your grace upon it ; and accept of our good inten- 


tions, and help them by your benign interpreta 

Lastly, I am most humbly to crave a particular 
pardon for myself that have used these few words ; 
and scarcely should have been able to have used any 
at all, in respect of the reverence which I bear 
to your person and judgment, had I not been some 
what relieved and comforted by the experience, 
which in my service and access I have had of your 
continual grace and favour. 








THE knights, citizens, and burgesses of the house of 
commons have commanded me to deliver to your 
lordships the causes of the conference by them 
prayed, and by your lordships assented, for the se 
cond business of this day. They have had report 
made unto them faithfully of his majesty s answer 
declared by my lord Treasurer, touching their hum 
ble desire to obtain liberty from his majesty to treat 
of compounding for tenures. And first, they think 
themselves much bound unto his majesty, that in 
" re nova," in which case princes use to be appre 
hensive, he hath made a gracious construction of 
their proposition. And so much they know of that, 
that belongs to the greatness of his majesty, and the 
greatness of the cause, as themselves acknowledge 
they ought not to have expected a present resolution, 
though the wise man saith, " Hope deferred is the 
fainting of the soul." But they know their duty to 


be to attend his majesty s times at his good plea 
sure. And this they do with the more comfort, 
because that in his majesty s answer, matching the 
times, and weighing the passages thereof, they con 
ceive, in their opinion, rather hope than discourage 

But the principal causes of the conference now 
prayed, besides these significations of duty not to be 
omitted, are two propositions. The one, matter of 
excuse of themselves ; the other, matter of petition. 
The former of which grows thus. Your lordship, 
my lord Treasurer, in your last declaration of his 
majesty s answer, which, according to the attribute 
then given unto it by a great counsellor, had " ima- 
ginem Cassaris" fair and lively graven, made this 
true and effectual distribution, that there depended 
upon tenures, considerations of honour, of consci 
ence, and of utility. Of these three, utility, as his 
majesty set it by for the present, out of the great 
ness of his mind, so we set it by, out of the justness 
of our desires : for we never meant but a goodly and 
worthy augmentation of the profit now received, and 
not a diminution. But, to speak truly, that consi 
deration falleth naturally to be examined when 
liberty of treaty is granted : but the former two in 
deed may exclude treaty, and cut it off before it be 

Nevertheless, in this that we shall say concern 
ing those two, we desire to be conceived rightly : 
we mean not to dispute with his majesty what be- 
longeth to sovereign honour or his princely con. 


science ; because we know we are not capable to dis 
cern of them otherwise, than as men use sometimes 
to see the image of the sun in a pail of water. But 
this we say for ourselves, God forbid that we, know 
ingly, should have propounded any thing, that might 
in our sense and persuasion touch either or both ; 
and therefore herein we desire to be heard, not to 
inform or persuade his majesty, but to free and ex 
cuse ourselves. 

And first, in general, we acknowledge, that this 
tree of tenures was planted into the prerogative by 
the ancient common law of this land : that it hath 
been fenced in and preserved by many statutes, and 
that it yieldeth at this day to the king the fruit of a 
great revenue. But yet, notwithstanding, if upon 
the stem of this tree may be raised a pillar of sup 
port to the crown permanent and durable as the 
marble, by investing the crown with a more ample, 
more certain, and more loving dowry, than this pf 
tenures ; we hope we propound no matter of dis 

But to speak distinctly of both, and first of ho 
nour : wherein I pray your lordships, give me leave, 
in a subject that may seern " supra nos," to handle 
it rather as we are capable, than as the matter per 
haps may require. Your lordships well know the 
various mixture and composition of our house. We 
have in our house learned civilians that profess a law, 
that we reverence and sometimes consult with : they 
can tell us, that all the laws " de feodis" are but ad- 
ditionals to the ancient civil law ; and that the Ro- 


man emperors, in the full height of their monarchy, 
never knew them; so that they are not imperial. 
We have grave professors of the common law, who 
will define unto us that those are parts of sove 
reignty, and of the regal prerogative, which cannot 
be communicated with subjects : but for tenures in 
substance, there is none of your lordships but have 
them, and few of us but have them. The king, in 
deed, hath a priority or first service of his tenures ; 
and some more amplitude of profit in that we call 
tenure in chief: but the subject is capable of tenures ; 
which shews that they are not regal, nor any point 
of sovereignty. We have gentlemen of honourable 
service in the wars both by sea and land, who can 
inform us, that when it is in question, who shall set 
his foot foremost towards the enemy ; it is never 
asked, Whether he holds in knight s service or in 
socage ? So have we many deputy lieutenants to 
your lordships, and many commissioners that have 
been for musters and levies, that can tell us, that the 
service and defence of the realm hath in these days 
little dependence upon tenures. So then we perceive 
that it is no bond or ligament of government ; no 
spur of honour, no bridle of obedience. Time was, 
when it had other uses, and the name of knight s 
service imports it : but " vocabula manent, res fu- 
giunt." But all this which we have spoken we con 
fess to be but in a vulgar capacity ; which neverthe 
less may serve for our excuse, though we submit the 
thing itself wholly to his majesty s judgment. 

For matter of conscience, far be it from us to 


cast in any thing willingly, that may trouble that 
clear fountain of his majesty s conscience. We do 
confess it is a noble protection, that these young birds 
of the nobility and good families should be gathered 
and clocked under the wings of the crown. But yet 
" Naturae vis maxima :" and " Suns cuique discre- 
tus sanguis." Your lordships will favour me, to 
observe my former method. The common law itself, 
which is the best bounds of our wisdom, doth, even 
" in hoc individuo," prefer the prerogative of the 
father before the prerogative of the king : for if lands 
descend, held in chief from an ancestor on the part 
of a mother, to a man s eldest son, the father being 
alive, the father shall have the custody of the body, 
and not the king. It is true that this is only for the 
father, and not any other parent or ancestor : but 
then if you look to the high law of tutelage and pro 
tection, and of obedience and duty, which is the 
relative thereunto ; it is not said, " Honour thy 
father alone/ but "Honour thy father and thy mo 
ther," &c. Again, the civilians can tell us, that there 
was a special use of the pretorian power for pupils, 
and yet no tenures. The citizens of London can tell 
us, there be courts of orphans, and yet no tenures. 
But all this while we pray your lordships to conceive, 
that we think ourselves not competent to discern of 
the honour of his majesty s crown, or the shrine of 
his conscience ; but. leave it wholly unto him, and 
allege these things but in our own excuse. 

For matter of petition, we do continue our most 
humble suit, by your lordships loving conjunction, 


that his majesty will be pleased to open unto us this 
entrance of his bounty and grace, as to give us 
liberty to treat. And lastly, we know his majesty s 
times are not subordinate at all but to the globe 
above. About this time the sun hath got even with 
the night, and will rise apace ; and we know Solo 
mon s temple, whereof your lordship, my lord Trea 
surer, spake, was not built in a day : and if we shall 
be so happy as to take the ax to hew, and the ham 
mer to frame, in this case, we know it cannot be 
without time ; and therefore, as far as we may with 
duty, and without importunity, we most humbly de 
sire an acceleration of his majesty s answer, accord 
ing to his good time and royal pleasure. 


THE king, whose virtues are such, as if we, that are 
his ministers, were able duly to correspond unto 
them, it were enough to make a golden time, hath 
commanded certain of his intentions to be published, 
touching the administration of this place, because 
they are somewhat differing from the usage of former 
times, and yet not by way of novelty, but by way of 
reformation, and reduction of things to their ancient 
and true institution. 

Wherein, nevertheless, it is his majesty s express 
pleasure it be signified, that he understands this to 
be done, without any derogation from the memory 
or service of those great persons, which have formerly 
held this place, of whose doings his majesty retaineth 
a good and gracious remembrance, especially touch 
ing the sincerity of their own minds. 

But now that his majesty meaneth to be as it 
were master of the wards himself, and that those 
that he useth be as his substitutes, and move wholly 


in his motion ; he doth expect things be carried in a 
sort worthy his own care. 

First, therefore, his majesty hath had this prince 
ly consideration with himself, that as he is " pater 
"patriae," so he is by the ancient law of this kingdom 
" pater pupillorum," where there is any tenure by 
knight s service of himself; which extendeth almost 
to all the great families noble and generous of this 
kingdom : and therefore being a representative 
father, his purpose is to imitate, and approach as 
near as may be to the duties and offices of a natural 
father, in the good education, well bestowing in mar 
riage, and preservation of the houses, woods, lands, 
and estates of his wards. 

For as it is his majesty s direction, that that part 
which concerns his own profit and right, be executed 
with moderation ; so on the other side, it is his 
princely will that that other part, which concerneth 
protection, be overspread and extended to the utmost. 

Wherein his majesty hath three persons in his 
eye, the wards themselves, idiots, and the rest of 
like nature ; the suitors in this court ; and the sub 
jects at large. 

For the first, his majesty hath commanded special 
care to be taken in the choice of the persons, to 
whom they be committed, that the same be sound 
in religion, such whose house and families are not 
noted for dissolute, no greedy persons, no step 
mothers, nor the like ; and with these qualifications, 
of the nearest friends : nay, further, his majesty is 
minded not so to delegate this trust to the com- 



raittees, but that he will have once in the year at 
least, by persons of credit in every county, a view 
and inspection taken of the persons, houses, woods, 
and lands of the wards, and other persons under the 
protection of this court, and certificate to be made 
thereof accordingly. 

For the suitors, which is the second; his ma 
jesty s princely care falls upon two points of refor 
mation ; the first, that there be an examination of 
fees, what are due and ancient, and what are new 
and exacted ; and those of the latter kind put down: 
the other, that the court do not entertain causes 
too long upon continuances of liveries after the 
parties are come of full age, which serveth but 
to waste the parties in suit, considering the decrees 
cannot be perpetual, but temporary ; and therefore 
controversies here handled, are seldom put in peace, 
till they have past a trial and decision in other 

For the third, which is the subject at large ; his 
majesty hath taken into his princely care the unne 
cessary vexations of his people by feodaries, and 
other inferior ministers of like nature, by colour of 
his tenures ; of which part I say nothing for the 
present, because the parties whom it concerns are 
for the most part absent : but order shall be given, 
that they shall give their attendance the last day of 
the term, then to understand further his majesty s 
gracious pleasure. 

Thus much by his majesty s commandment ; now 
we may proceed to the business of the court. 




First, that he take an account how his majesty s 
last instructions have been pursued ; and of the in 
crease of benefit accrued to his majesty thereby, and 
the proportion thereof. 

Wherein first, in general, it will be good to cast 
up a year s benefit, viz. from February, 1610, which 
is the date of the instructions under the great seal, 
to February, 1611 ; and to compare the total with 
the former years before the instructions, that the 
tree may appear by the fruit, and it may be seen 
how much his majesty s profit is redoubled or in 
creased by that course. 

Secondly, it will not be amiss to compute not 
only the yearly benefit, but the number of ward 
ships granted that year, and to compare that with 
the number of former years ; for though the number 
be a thing casual, yet if it be apparently less than 
in former years, then it may be justly doubted, that 
men take advantage upon the last clause in the in 
structions, of exceptions of wards concealed, to 
practise delays and misfinding of offices, which is a 
thing most dangerous. 

Thirdly, in particular it behoveth to peruse and 
review the bargains made, and to consider the rates, 
men s estates being things which for the most part 
cannot be hid, and thereby to discern what improve- 


ments and good husbandry have been used, and how 
much the king hath more now when the whole 
benefit is supposed to go to him, than he had when 
three parts of the benefit went to the committee. 

Fourthly, It is requisite to take consideration 
what commissions have been granted for copyholds 
for lives, which are excepted by the instructions 
from being leased, and what profit hath been raised 

Thus much for the time past, and upon view of 
these accounts, " res dabit consilium" for further 
order to be taken. 

For the time to come, first, it is fit that the master 
of the wards, being a meaner person, be usually 
present as well at the treaty and beating of the 
bargain, as at the concluding, and that he take not 
the business by report. 

Secondly, When suit is made, the information 
by survey and commission is but one image, but the 
way were by private diligence to be really informed : 
neither is it hard for a person that liveth in an inn 
of court, where there be understanding men of every 
county of England, to obtain by care certain infor 

Thirdly, This kind of promise of preferring the 
next akin, doth much obscure the information, which 
before by competition of divers did better appear ; 
and therefore it may be necessary for the master of 
the wards sometimes to direct letters to some persons 
near the ward living, and to take certificate from 
them : it being always intended the subject be not 


racked too high, and that the nearest friends that be 
sound in religion, and like to give the ward good 
education, be preferred. 

Fourthly, That it be examined carefully whether 
the ward s revenues consist of copyholds for lives, 
which are not to be comprised in the lease, and that 
there be no neglect to grant commissions for the same, 
and that the master take order to be certified of the 
profits of former courts held by the ward s ancestor, 
that it may be a precedent and direction for the com 

Fifthly, That the master make account every six 
months, (the state appoints one in the year) to his 
majesty ; and that when he bringeth the bill of grants 
of the body for his majesty s signature, he bring a 
schedule of the truth of the state of every one of 
them, as it hath appeared to him by information, 
and acquaint his majesty both with the rates and 

Thus much concerning the improvement of the 
king s profit, which concerneth the king as " pater 
familias ;" now as " pater patriae." 

First, for the wards themselves, that there be 
special care taken in the choice of the committee, 
that he be sound in religion, his house and family 
not dissolute, no greedy person, no step-mother, nor 
the like. 

Further, that there be letters written once every 
year to certain principal gentlemen of credit in every 
county, to take view not only of the person of the 
wards in every county, and their education ; but of 


their houses, woods, grounds, and estate, and the 
same to certify ; that the committees may be held in 
some awe, and that the blessing of the poor orphans 
and the pupils may come upon his majesty and his 

Secondly, for the suitors ; that there be a strait 
examination concerning the raising and multiplica 
tion of fees in that court, which is much scandalized 
with opinion thereof, and all exacted fees put down. 

Thirdly, for the subjects at large ; that the vexa 
tion of escheators and feodaries be repressed, which, 
upon no substantial ground of record, vex the coun 
try with inquisitions and other extortions : and for 
that purpose that there be one set day at the end of 
every term appointed for examining the abuses of 
such inferior officers, and that the master of wards 
take special care to receive private information from 
gentlemen of quality and conscience in every shire 
touching the same. 







IT is my desire, that if any the king s business, 
either of honour or profit, shall pass the house, it 
may be not only with external prevailing, but with 
satisfaction of the inward man. For in consent, 
where tongue-strings, not heart-strings, make the 
music, that harmony may end in discord. To this I 
shall always bend my endeavours. 

The king s sovereignty, and the liberty of parlia 
ment, are as the two elements and principles of this 
estate; which, though the one be more active, the 
other more passive, yet they do not cross or destroy 
the one the other ; but they strengthen and maintain 
the one the other. Take away liberty of parliament, 
the griefs of the subject will bleed inwards : sharp 
and eager humours will not evaporate ; and then 
they must exulcerate ; and so may endanger the 
sovereignty itself. On the other side, if the king s 
sovereignty receive diminution, or any degree of con- 


tempt with us that are born under an hereditary mo 
narchy, so as the motions of our estate cannot work 
in any other frame or engine, it must follow, that we 
shall be a meteor, or " corpus imperfecte mistum ;" 
which kind of bodies come speedily to confusion and 
dissolution. Andhereinitis our happiness, that we may 
make the same judgment of the king, which Tacitus 
made of Nerva: " Divus Nerva res olim dissociabiles 
" miscuit, imperium et libertatem." Nerva did temper 
things, that before were thought incompatible, or 
insociable, sovereignty and liberty. And it is not 
amiss in a great council and a great cause to put the 
other part of the difference, which was significantly 
expressed by the judgment which Apollonius made 
of Nero ; which was thus : when Vespasian came 
out of Judaea towards Italy, to receive the empire, 
as he passed by Alexandria he spake with Apollo 
nius, a man much admired, and asked him a ques 
tion of state : " What was the cause of Nero s fall or 
" overthrow ?" Apollonius answered again, " Nero 
" could tune the harp well : but in government he 
" always either wound up the pins too high, and 
" strained the strings too far ; or let them down 
" too low, and slackened the strings too much/ 
Here we see the difference between regular and able 
princes, and irregular and incapable, Nerva and 
Nero. The one tempers and mingles the sove 
reignty with the liberty of the subject wisely ; and 
the other doth interchange it, and vary it unequally 
and absurdly. Since therefore we have a prince of 
so excellent wisdom and moderation, of whose au- 


thority we ought to be tender, as he is likewise of 
our liberty, let us enter into a true and indifferent 
consideration, how far forth the case in question may 
touch his authority, and how far forth our liberty : 
and, to speak clearly, in my opinion it concerns his 
authority jnuch, and our liberty nothing at all. 

The questions are two : the one, whether our 
speaker be exempted from delivery of a message from 
the king without our licence ? The other, whether 
it is not all one whether he received it from the 
body of the council, as if he received it immedi 
ately from the king ? And I will speak of the last 
first, because it is the circumstance of the present 

First, I say, let us see how it concerns the king, 
and then how it concerns us. For the king, cer 
tainly, if it be observed, it cannot be denied, but if 
you may not receive his pleasure by his representa 
tive body, which is his council of his estate, you both 
straiten his majesty in point of conveniency, and 
weaken the reputation of his council. All kings, 
though they be gods on earth, yet, as he said, they 
are gods of earth, frail as other men ; they may be 
children ; they may be of extreme age ; they may 
be indisposed in health ; they may be absent. In 
these cases, if their council may not supply their 
persons, to what infinite accidents do you expose 
them ? Nay, more, sometimes in policy kings will 
not be seen, but cover themselves with their coun 
cil ; and if this be taken from them, a great part of 


their safety is taken away. For the other point, of 
weakening the council ; you know they are nothing 
without the king : they are no body-politic ; they 
have no commission under seal. So as, if you begin 
to distinguish and disjoin them from the king, they 
are " corpus opacum ;" for they have " lumen de 
" lumine :" and so by distinguishing you extinguish 
the principal engine of the estate. For it is truly 
affirmed, that " Concilium non habet potestatem 
" delegatam, sed inhasrentem :" and it is but " Rex 
" in cathedra," the king in his chair or consistory, 
where his will and decrees, which are in privacy 
more changeable, are settled and fixed. 

Now for that which concerns ourselves. First, 
for dignity ; no man must think this a disparage 
ment to us: for the greatest kings in Europe, by 
their ambassadors, receive answers and directions 
from the council in the king s absence; and if that 
negociation be fit for the fraternity and party of 
kings, it may much less be excepted to by subjects. 

For use or benefit, no man can be so raw and un 
acquainted in the affairs of the world, as to conceive 
there should be any disadvantage in it, as if such 
answers were less firm and certain. For it cannot 
be supposed, that men of so great caution, as coun 
sellors of estate commonly are, whether you take 
caution for wisdom or providence, or for pledge of 
estate or fortune, will ever err, or adventure so far 
as to exceed their warrant. And therefore I con 
clude, that in this point there can be unto us neither 
disgrace nor disadvantage. 


For the point of the speaker. First, on the king s 
part, it may have a shrewd illation : for it hath a 
shew, as if there could be a stronger duty than the 
duty of a subject to a king. We see the degrees 
and differences of duties in families, between father 
and son, master and servant ; in corporate bodies, 
between commonalties and their officers, recorders, 
stewards, and the like ; yet all these give place to 
the king s commandments. The bonds are more 
special, but not so forcible. On our part, it con 
cerns us nothing. For first it is but " de canali," of 
the pipe ; how the king s message shall be conveyed 
to us, and not of the matter. Neither hath the 
speaker any such dominion, as that coming out of his 
mouth it presseth us more than out of a privy coun 
sellor s. Nay, it seems to be a great trust of the 
king s towards the house, when the king doubteth not 
to put his message into their mouth, as if he should 
speak to the city by their recorder : therefore, me- 
thinks, we should not entertain this unnecessary 
doubt. It is one use of wit to make clear things 
doubtful ; but it is a much better use of wit to make 
doubtful things clear; and to that I would men 
would bend themselves. 



AND it please you, Mr. Speaker, this question touch 
ing the right of impositions is very great; extending 
to the prerogative of the king on the one part, and 
the liberty of the subject on the other ; and that in a 
point of profit and value, and not of conceit or fancy. 
And therefore, as weight in all motions increaseth 
force, so I do not marvel to see men gather the 
greatest strength of argument they can to make 
good their opinions. And so you will give me leave 
likewise, being strong in mine own persuasion that it 
is the king s right, to shew my voice as free as my 
thought. And for my part, I mean to observe the 
true course to give strength to this cause, which is, 

* This matter mas much debated by the lawyers and gentle 
men in the parliament 1610, and 1614, &c. and afterwards g-ivea 
up by the crown in 1641. 


by yielding those things which are not tenable, 
and keeping the question within the true state 
and compass ; which will discharge many popular 
arguments, and contract the debate into a less 

Wherefore I do deliver the question, and exclude 
or set by, as not in question, five things. First, the 
question is " de portorio," and not " de tribute," to 
use the Roman words for explanation sake ; it is 
not, I say, touching any taxes within the land, but 
of payments at the ports. Secondly, it is not touch 
ing any impost from port to port, but where " claves 
" regni," the keys of the kingdom, are turned to let 
in from foreign parts, or to send forth to foreign 
parts, in a word, matter of commerce and inter 
course, not simply of carriage or vecture. Thirdly, 
the question is, as the distinction was used above 
in another case, " de vero et falso," and not " de 
" bono et malo," of the legal point, and not of the 
inconvenience, otherwise than as it serves to de 
cide the law. Fourthly, I do set apart three com 
modities, wool, wool-fells, and leather, as being 
in different case from the rest ; because the cus 
tom upon them is " antiqua custuma." Lastly, 
the question is riot, whether in matter of impos 
ing the king may alter the law by his preroga 
tive, but whether the king have not such a preroga 
tive by law. 

The state of the question being thus cleared and 
freed, my proposition is, that the king by the funda 
mental laws of this kingdom hath a power to impose 


upon merchandise and commodities both native and 
foreign. In my proof of this proposition all that I 
shall say, be it to confirm or confute, I will draw 
into certain distinct heads or considerations which 
move me, and may move you. 

The first is an universal negative : there ap- 
peareth not in any of the king s courts any one re 
cord, wherein an imposition laid at the ports hath 
been overthrown by judgment ; nay more, where it 
hath been questioned by pleading 1 . This plea, " quod 
et summa praedicta minus juste imposita fuit, et con- 
tra leges et consuetudines regni hujus Anglias, 
" unde idem Bates illam solvere recusavit, prout ei 
" bene licuit ;" is " primse impressionis." Bates was 
the first man " ab origine mundi, for any thing that 
appeareth, that ministered that plea ; whereupon I 
offer this to consideration : the king s acts that 
grieve the subject are either against law, and so 
void, or according to strictness of law, and yet griev 
ous. And according to these several natures of 
grievance, there be several remedies : Be they 
against law ? Overthrow them by judgment : Be 
they too strait and extreme, though legal ? Pro 
pound them in parliament. Forasmuch then as im 
positions at the ports, having been so often laid, 
were never brought into the king s courts of jus 
tice, but still brought to parliament, I may most cer 
tainly conclude, that they were conceived not to be 
against law. And if any man shall think that it 
was too high a point to question by law before the 
judges,, or that there should want fortitude in them 


to aid the subject ; no, it shall appear from time to 
time, in cases of equal reach, where the king s acts 
have been indeed against law, the course of law 
hath run, and the judges have worthily done their 

As in the case of an imposition upon linen cloth 
for the alnage ; overthrown by judgment. 

The case of a commission of arrest and commit 
ting of subjects upon examination without convic 
tion by jury, disallowed by the judges. 

A commission to determine the right of the exi- 
genter s place, " secundum sanam discretionem," dis 
allowed by the judges. 

The case of the monopoly of cards overthrown 
and condemned by judgment. 

I might make mention of the jurisdiction of some 
courts of discretion, wherein the judges did not de 
cline to give opinion. Therefore, had this been 
against law, there would not have been " altum si- 
" lentium" in the king s courts. Of the contrary 
judgments I will not yet speak ; thus much now, 
that there is no judgment, no nor plea against it. 
Though I said no more, it were enough, in my opi 
nion, to induce you to a " non liquet," to leave it a 

The second consideration is, the force and conti 
nuance of payments made by grants of merchants, 
both strangers and English, without consent of par 
liament. Herein I lay this ground, that such grants 
considered in themselves are void in law : for mer 
chants, either strangers or subjects, they are no body 
corporate, but singular and dispersed persons ; they 


cannot bind succession, neither can the major part 
bind the residue: how then should their grants 
have force ? No otherwise but thus : that the kings 
power of imposing was only the legal virtue and 
strength of those grants ; and that the consent of a 
merchant is but a concurrence, the king is " princi- 
" pale agens," and they are but as the patient, and so 
it becomes a binding act out of the king s power. 

Now if any man doubt that such grants of mer 
chants should not be of force, I will allege but two 
memorable records, the one for the merchants stran 
gers, the other for the merchants English. That 
for the strangers is upon the grant of " chart, mer- 
" cator." of three pence in value " ultra antiquas 
" custumas ;" which grant is in use and practice at 
" this day. For it is well known to the merchants, 
that that which they call stranger s custom, and 
erroneously double custom, is but three pence in the 
pound more than English. Now look into the sta 
tutes of subsidy of tonnage and poundage, and you 
shall find, a few merchandise only excepted, the 
poundage equal upon alien and subject ; so that 
this difference or excess of three pence hath no other 
ground than that grant. It falleth to be the same 
in quantity, there is no statute for it, and therefore it 
can have no strength but from the merchants grants ; 
and the merchants grants can have no strength but 
from the king s power to impose. 

For the merchants English, take the notable re 
cord in 17 E. III. where the commons complained 
of the forty shillings upon the sack of wool as a mal- 
toll set by the assent of the merchants without con- 


sent of parliament ; nay, they dispute and say it 
were hard that the merchants consent should be in 
damage of the commons. What saith the king to 
them ? doth he grant it or give way to it ? No ; but 
replies upon them, and saith, It cannot be rightly 
construed to be in prejudice of the cemmons, the 
rather because provision was made, that the mer 
chants should not work upon them, by colour of that 
payment to increase their price ; in that there was a 
price certain set upon the wools. And there was an 
end of that matter : which plainly affirmeth the 
force of the merchants grants. So then the force of 
the grants of merchants both English and strangers 
appeareth, and their grants being not corporate, are 
but noun adjectives without the king s power to 

The third consideration is, of the first and most 
ancient commencement of customs ; wherein I am 
somewhat to seek ; for, as the poet saith, " Ingre- 
" diturque solo, et caput inter nubila condit," the 
beginning of it is obscure : but I rather conceive 
that it is by common law than by grant in parlia 
ment. For, first, Mr. Dyer s opinion was, that 
the ancient custom for exportation was by the com 
mon laws ; and goeth further, that that ancient cus 
tom was the custom upon wools, woolfells, and lea 
ther : he was deceived in the particular, and the 
diligence of your search hath revealed it ; for that 
custom upon these three merchandises grew by 
grant of parliament 3 E. I. but the opinion in gene 
ral was sound ; for there was a custom before that : 



for the records themselves which speak of that cus 
tom do term it a new custom, " Alentour del novel 
" custome," As concerning the new custom granted, 
etc. this is pregnant, there was yet a more ancient. 
So for the strangers, the grant in 31 E. I. " chart. 
" mercator." is, that the three pence granted by the 
strangers should be " ultra antiquas custumas," which 
hath no affinity with that custom upon the three 
species, but presupposeth more ancient customs in 
general. Now if any man think that those more 
ancient customs were likewise by act of parliament, 
it is but a conjecture : it is never recited " ultra 
" antiquas custumas prius concessas," and acts of 
parliament were not much stirring before the great 
charter, which was 9H. III. And therefore I con 
ceive with Mr. Dyer, that whatsoever was the an 
cient custom, was by the common law. And if by 
the common law, then what other means can be ima 
gined of the commencement of it but by the king s 
imposing ? 

The fourth consideration is, of the manner that 
was held in parliament in the abolishing of imposi 
tions laid : wherein I will consider, first, the manner 
of the petitions exhibited in parliament; and more 
especially the nature of the king s answers. For the 
petitions I note two things ; first, that to my remem 
brance there was never any petition made for the 
revoking of any imposition upon foreign merchants 
only. It pleased the Decemviri in 5 E. II. to deface 
" chart, mercator." and so the imposition upon stran 
gers, as against law : but the opinion of these refor- 


mers I do not much trust, for they of their gentle 
ness did likewise bring in doubt the demy-mark, 
which it is manifest was granted by parliament, and 
pronounced by them the king should have it, " s il 
" avoit le doit :" but this is declared void by 1 E. III. 
which reneweth " chart, mercator." and void must 
it needs be, because it was an ordinance by commis 
sion only, and that in the time of a weak king, and 
never either warranted or confirmed by parliament. 
Secondly, I note that petitions were made promis 
cuously for taking away impositions set by parlia 
ment as well as without parliament ; nay, that very 
tax of the " neufiesme," the ninth sheaf or fleece, 
which is recited to be against the king s oath and in 
blemishment of his crown, was an act of parlia 
ment, 14 E. III. So then to infer that impositions 
were against law, because they are taken away by 
succeeding parliaments, it is no argument at all; 
because the impositions set by the parliaments them 
selves, which no man will say were against law, were, 
nevertheless, afterwards pulled down by parliament. 
But indeed the argument holdeth rather the other 
way, that because they took not their remedy in the 
king s courts of justice, but did fly to the parliament, 
therefore they were thought to stand with law. 

Now for the king s answers : if the impositions 
complained of had been against law, then the king s 
answer ought to have been simple, " tanquam re- 
" sponsio categorica, non hypothetica ;" as, let them 
be repealed, or, Let the law run : but contrariwise, 
they admit all manner of diversities and qualifica 
tions : for 


Sometimes the king disputeth the matter and 

doth nothing ; as 17 E. III. 
Sometimes the king distinguisheth of reasonable 

and not reasonable, as 38 E. III. 
Sometimes he abolisheth them in part, and let- 
teth them stand in part, as 11 E. II. the re 
cord of the "mutuum," and 14 E. III. the 
printed statute, whereof I shall speak more 

Sometimes that no imposition shall be set dur 
ing the time that the grants made of subsi 
dies by parliament shall continue, as 47 
E. III. 
Sometimes that they shall cease " ad voluntatem 

" nostram." 
And sometimes that they shall hold over their 

term prefixed or asseissed. 

All which sheweth that the king did not disclaim 
them as unlawful, for " actus legitimus non recipit 
" tempus aut conditionem." If it had been a disaffirm- 
ance by law, they must have gone down " in solido," 
but now you see they have been tempered and qua 
lified as the king saw convenient. 

The fifth consideration is of that which is offered 
by way of objection ; which is, first, that such grants 
have been usually made by consent of parliament ; 
and secondly, that the statutes of subsidies of ton 
nage and poundage have been made as a kind of 
stint and limitation, that the king should hold him 
self unto the proportion so granted and not impose 
further ; the rather because it is expressed in some 


of these statutes of tonnage and poundage, some 
times by way of protestation, and sometimes by way 
of condition, that they shall not be taken in prece 
dent, or that the king shall not impose any further 
rates or novelties, as 6 R. II. 9 R. II. 13 H. IV. 
1 H. V. which subsidies of tonnage and poundage 
have such clauses and cautions. 

To this objection I give this answer. First, that 
it is not strange with kings, for their own better 
strength, and the better contentment of their people, 
to do those things by parliament, which neverthe 
less have perfection enough without parliament. We 
see their own rights to the crown which are inherent, 
yet they take recognition of them by parliament. 
And there was a special reason why they should do 
it in this case, for they had found by experience that 
if they had not consent in parliament to the setting 
of them up, they could not have avoided suit in par 
liament for the taking of them down. Besides, there 
were some things requisite in the manner of the levy 
for the better strengthening of the same, which per- 
case could not be done without parliament, as the 
taking the oath of the party touching the value, the 
inviting of the discovery of concealment of custom 
by giving the moiety to the informer, and the like. 

Now in special for the statutes of subsidies of 
tonnage and poundage, I note three things. First, 
that the consideration of the grant is not laid to be 
for the restraining of impositions, but expressly for 
the guarding of the sea. Secondly, that it is true 
that the ancient form is more peremptory, and the 


modern more submiss ; for in the ancient form some 
times they insert a flat condition that the king shall 
not further impose ; in the latter they humbly pray 
that the merchants may be demeaned without op 
pression, paying those rates ; but whether it be 
supplication, or whether it be condition, it rather im- 
plieth the king hath a power ; for else both were 
needless, for " conditio annectitur ubi libertas pras- 
" sumitur," and the word oppression seemeth to refer 
to excessive impositions. And thirdly, that the sta 
tutes of tonnage and poundage are but " cumula 
tive" and not " privative" of the king s power prece 
dent, appeareth notably in the three pence overplus, 
which is paid by the merchants strangers, which 
should be taken away quite, if those statutes were 
taken to be limitations ; for in that, as was touched 
before, the rates are equal in the generality between 
subjects and strangers, and yet that imposition, not 
withstanding any supposed restriction of these acts of 
subsidies of tonnage and poundage, remaineth at this 

The sixth consideration is likewise of an objec 
tion, which is matter of practice, viz. that from R. IFs. 
time to Q. Mary, which is almost 200 years, there 
was an intermission of impositions, as appeareth both 
by records and the custom-books. 

To which I answer ; both that we have in effect 
an equal number of years to countervail them, namely* 
100 years in the times of the three kings Edwards 
added to 60 of our last years ; and " extrema obru- 


" unt media ;" for we have both the reverence of an 
tiquity and the possession of the present times, and 
they but the middle times \ and besides, in all true 
judgment there is a very great difference between 
an usage to prove a thing lawful, and a non-usage 
to prove it unlawful : for the practice plainly im- 
plieth consent ; but the discontinuance may be either 
because it was not needful, though lawful ; or be 
cause there was found a better means, as I think it 
was indeed in respect of the double customs by 
means of the staple at Calais. 





THE proportion of the king s supply is not now in 
question : for when that shall be, it may be I shall 
be of opinion, that we should give so now, as we may 
the better give again. But as things stand for the 
present, I think the point of honour and reputation 
is that which his majesty standeth most upon, that 
our gift may at least be like those showers, that may 
serve to lay the winds, though they do not suffici 
ently water the earth. 

To labour to persuade you, I will not : for I 
know not into what form to cast my speech. If I 
should enter into a laudative, though never so due 
and just, of the king s great merits, it may betaken 
for flattery : if I should speak of the strait obliga 
tions which intercede between the king and the sub 
ject, in case of the king s want, it were a kind of 
concluding the house : if I should speak of the dan 
gerous consequence which want may reverberate 
upon subjects, it might have a shew of a secret me 


These arguments are, I hope, needless, and do 
better in your minds than in my mouth. But this 
give me leave to say, that whereas the example of 
Cyrus was used, who sought his supply from those 
upon whom he had bestowed his benefits ; we must 
always remember, that there are as well benefits of 
the sceptre as benefits of the hand, as well of go 
vernment as of liberality. These, I am sure, we will 
acknowledge to have come " plena manu" amongst 
us all, and all those whom we represent ; and there 
fore it is every man s head in this case that must be 
his counsellor, and every man s heart his orator ; and 
to those inward powers more forcible than any 
man s speech, I leave it, and wish it may go to the 




ACCORDING unto your lordships letters unto us di 
rected, grounded upon the information which his 
majesty hath received concerning the scarcity of sil 
ver at the Mint, we have called before us as well the 
officers of the Mint, as some principal merchants, 
and spent two whole afternoons in the examination 
of the business ; wherein we kept this order, first 
to examine the fact, then the causes, with the re 

And for the fact, we directed the officers of the 
Mint to give unto us a distinguished account how 
much gold and silver hath yearly been brought into 
the Mint, by the space of six whole years last past, 
more especially for the last three months succeeding 
the last proclamation touching the price of gold ; to 
the end we might by the suddenness of the fall dis 
cern, whether that proclamation might be thought 
the efficient cause of the present scarcity. Upon 
which account it appears to us, that during the 


space of six years aforesaid, there hath been still de 
grees of decay in quantity of the silver brought to 
the Mint, but yet so, as within these last three months 
it hath grown far beyond the proportion of the 
former time, insomuch as there comes in now 
little or none at all And yet, notwithstanding, it 
is some opinion, as well amongst the officers of the 
Mint as the merchants, that the state need be the less 
apprehensive of this effect, because it is like to be 
but temporary, and neither the great flush of gold 
that is come into the Mint since the proclamation, 
nor on the other side the great scarcity of silver, can 
continue in proportion as it now doth. 

Another point of the fact, which we thought fit 
to examine, was, whether the scarcity of silver 
appeared generally in the realm, or only at the 
Mint; wherein it was confessed by the merchants, 
that silver is continually imported into the realm, 
and is found stirring amongst the goldsmiths, and 
otherwise, much like as in former times, although, in 
respect of the greater price which it hath with the 
goldsmith, it cannot find the way to the Mint. And 
thus much for the fact. 

For the causes with the remedies, we have 
heard many propositions made, as well by the lord 
Knevet, who assisted us in this conference, as by 
the merchants ; of which propositions few were new 
unto us, and much less can be new to your lord 
ships ; but yet although upon former consultations, 
we are not unacquainted what is more or less likely 
to stand with your lordships grounds and opinions, 


we thought it nevertheless the best fruit of our dili 
gence to set them down in articles, that your lord 
ships with more ease may discard or entertain the 
particulars, beginning with those which your lord 
ships do point at in your letters, and so descending 
to the rest. 

The first proposition is, touching the dispropor 
tion of the price between gold and silver, which is 
now brought to bed, upon the point of fourteen to 
one, being before but twelve to one. This we take 
to be an evident cause of scarcity of silver at the 
Mint, but such a cause as will hardly receive a re 
medy ; for either your lordships must draw down 
again the price of gold, or advance the price of 
silver ; whereof the one is going back from that 
which is so lately done, and whereof you have found 
good effect, and the other is a thing of dangerous 
consequence in respect of the loss to all moneyed 
men in their debts, gentlemen in their rents, the 
king in his customs, and the common subject in 
raising the price of things vendible. And upon 
this point it is fit we give your lordships understand 
ing what the merchants intimated unto us, that the 
very voicing or suspect of the raising of the price of 
silver, if it be not cleared, would make such a dead- 
ness and retention of money this vacation, as, to use 
their own words, will be a misery to the merchants : 
so that we were forced to use protestation, that 
there was no such intent. 

The second proposition, is touching the charge 
of coinage ; wherein it was confidently avouched by 


the merchants, that if the coinage were brought 
from two shillings unto eighteen pence, as it was 
in queen Elizabeth s time, the king would gain 
more in the quantity than he should lose in the price : 
and they aided themselves with that argument, that 
the king had been pleased to abate his coinage in 
the other metal, and found good of it : which 
argument, though it doth admit a difference, because 
that abatement was coupled with the raising of the 
price, whereas this is to go alone ; yet nevertheless 
it seemed the officers of the Mint were not unwilling 
to give way to some abatement, although they pre 
sumed it would be of small effect, because that 
abatement would not be equivalent to that price 
which Spanish silver bears with the goldsmith ; but 
yet it may be used as an experiment of state, being 
recoverable at his majesty s pleasure. 

The third proposition is, concerning the ex 
portation of silver more than in former times, 
wherein we fell first upon the trade into the East 
Indies ; concerning which it was materially in our 
opinions answered by the merchants of that com 
pany, that the silver which supplies that trade, 
being generally Spanish moneys, would not be 
brought in but for that trade, so that it sucks in as 
well as it draws forth. And it was added likewise, 
that as long as the Low Countries maintained that 
trade in the Indies, it would help little though our 
trade were dissolved, because that silver which is 
exported immediately by us to the Indies would be 
drawn out of this kingdom for the Indies imme- 


diately by the Dutch : and for the silver exported 
to the Levant, it was thought to be no great matter. 
As for other exportation, we saw no remedy but the 
execution of the laws, specially those of employment 
being by some mitigation made agreeable to the 
times. And these three remedies are of that nature, 
as they serve to remove the causes of this scarcity. 
There were other propositions of policies and means, 
directly to draw silver to the Mint. 

The fourth point thereof was this : It is agreed 
that the silver which hath heretofore fed the Mint, 
principally hath been Spanish money. This now 
comes into the realm plentifully, but not into 
the Mint. It was propounded in imitation of some 
precedent in France, that his majesty would by pro 
clamation restrain the coming in of this money 
" sub modo," that is, that either it be brought to the 
Mint, or otherwise to be cut and defaced, because 
that now it passeth in payments in a kind of cur 
rency. To which it was colourably objected, that 
this would be the way to have none brought in at 
all, because the gain ceasing, the importation would 
cease ; but this objection was well answered, that it 
is not gain altogether, but a necessity of speedy 
payment, that causeth the merchant to bring in 
silver to keep his credit, and to drive his trade : so 
that if the king keep his fourteen days payment at 
the Mint, as he always hath done, and have like 
wise his exchangers for those moneys in some prin 
cipal parts, it is supposed that all Spanish moneys, 
which is the bulk of silver brought into this realm, 


would by means of such a proclamation come into 
the Mint ; which may be a thing considerable. 

The fifth proposition was this : It was warranted 
by the laws of Spain to bring in silver for com or 
victuals ; it was propounded that his majesty would 
restrain exportation of corn " sub modo," except 
they bring the silver which resulted thereof unto his 
Mint ; that trade being commonly so beneficial, as 
the merchant may well endure the bringing of the 
silver to the Mint, although it were at the charge of 
coinage, which it now beareth further, as incident 
to this matter. There was revived by the mer 
chants, with some instance, the ancient proposition 
concerning the erection of granaries for foreign 
corn, forasmuch as by that increase of trade in 
corn, the importation of silver would likewise be 

The sixth proposition was, That upon all licence 
of forbidden commodities, there shall be a rate set 
of silver to be brought into the Mint : which never 
theless may seem somewhat hard, because it im- 
poseth upon the subject that which causeth him to 
incur peril of confiscation in foreign parts. To 
trouble your lordships further with discourses which 
we had of making foreign coins current, and of vary 
ing the king s standard to weight, upon the variations 
in other states, and repressing surfeit of foreign com 
modities, that our native commodities, surmounting 
the foreign, may draw in treasure by way of over 
plus ; they be common places so well known to your 
lordships, as it is enough to mention them only. 


There is only one thing more, which is, to put 
your lordships in mind of the extreme excess in the 
wasting of both metals, both of gold and silver foliate, 
which turns the nature of these metals, which ought 
to be perdurable, ; and makes them perishable, and 
by consumption must be a principal cause of scar 
city in them both ; which we conceive may receive a 
speedy remedy by his majesty s proclamation. 

Lastly, We are humble suitors to your lordships, 
that for any of these propositions, that your lordships 
should think fit to entertain in consultations, your 
lordships would be pleased to hear them debated 
before yourselves, as being matters of greater weight 
than we are able to judge of. And so craving your 
lordships pardon for troubling you so long r we com 
mend your lordships to God s goodness. 




THE king hath heard and observed your grave and 
decent speech, tending to the excuse and disable 
ment of yourself for the place of Speaker. In 
answer whereof, his majesty hath commanded me to 
say to you, that he doth in no sort admit of the 

First, Because if the party s own judgment 
should be admitted in case of elections, touching 
himself, it would follow, that the most confident and 
over-weening persons would be received; and the 
most considerate men, and those that understand 
themselves best, would be rejected. 

Secondly, His majesty doth so much rely upon 
the wisdoms and discretions of those of the house of 
commons, that have chosen you with an unanimous 
consent, that his majesty thinks not good to swerve 
from their opinion in that wherein themselves are 
principally interested. 

Thirdly, You have disabled yourself in so good 
and decent a fashion, as the manner of your speech 
hath destroyed the matter of it. 



And therefore the king doth allow of the elec 
tion, and admit you for speaker. 



THE king hath heard and observed your eloquent 
discourse, containing much good matter, and much 
good will : wherein you must expect from me such 
an answer only as is pertinent to the occasion, and 
compassed by due respect of time. 

I may divide that which you have said into four 

The first was a commendation, or laudative of 

The second was indeed a large field, containing 
a thankful acknowledgment of his majesty s benefits, 
attributes, and acts of government. 

The third was some passages touching the insti 
tution and use of parliaments. 

The fourth and last was certain petitions to his 
majesty on the behalf of the house and yourself. 

For your commendation of monarchy, and pre 
ferring it before other estates, it needs no answer : 
the schools may dispute it ; but time hath tried it, 
and we find it to be the best. Other states have 
curious frames soon put out of order : and they that 
are made fit to last, are not commonly fit to grow 
or spread : and contrariwise those that are made fit 
to spread and enlarge, are not fit to continue and 
endure. But monarchy is like a work of nature, 


well composed both to grow and to continue. From 
this I pass. 

For the second part of your speech, wherein you 
did with no less truth than affection acknowledge 
the great felicity which we enjoy by his majesty s 
reign and government, his majesty hath commanded 
me to say unto you, that praises and thanksgivings 
he knoweth to be the true oblations of hearts and 
loving affections : but that which you offer him he 
will join with you, in offering it up to God, who is 
the author of all good ; who knoweth also the up 
rightness of his heart ; who he hopeth will continue 
and increase his blessings both upon himself and his 
posterity, and likewise upon his kingdoms and the 
generations of them. 

But I for my part must say unto you, as the 
Grecian orator said long since in the like case : 
" Solus digrius harum rerum laudatur tempus ;" 
Time is the only commender and encomiastic wor 
thy of his majesty and his government. 

Why time ? For that in the revolution of so 
many years and ages, as have passed over this king 
dom, notwithstanding, many noble and excellent 
effects were never produced until his majesty s days, 
but have been reserved as proper and peculiar unto 

And because this is no part of a panegyric, but 
merely story, and that they be so many articles of 
honour fit to be recorded, I will only mention them, 
extracting part of them out of that you, Mr. Speaker, 
have said ; they be in number eight. 


First, his majesty is the first, as you noted it well, 
that hath laid " lapis angularis," the corner-stone of 
these two mighty kingdoms of England and Scot 
land, and taken away the wall of separation: 
whereby his majesty is become the monarch of the 
most puissant and military nations of the world ; 
and, if one of the ancient wise men was not deceived, 
iron commands gold. 

Secondly, the plantation and reduction to civility 
of Ireland, the second island of the ocean Atlantic, 
did by God s providence wait for his majesty s times ; 
being a work resembling indeed the works of the 
ancient heroes : no new piece of that kind in modern 

Thirdly, This kingdom now first in his majesty s 
times hath gotten a lot or portion in the new world 
by the plantation of Virginia and the Summer 
Islands. And certainly it is with the kingdoms on 
earth as it is in the kingdom of heaven : sometimes 
a grain of mustard-seed proves a great tree. Who 
can tell ? 

Fourthly, His majesty hath made that truth which 
was before titularly, in that he hath verified the style 
of Defender of the Faith : wherein his majesty s pen 
hath been so happy, as though the deaf adder will 
not hear, yet he is charmed that he doth not hiss. I 
mean in the graver sort of those that have answered 
his majesty s writings. 

Fifthly, It is most certain, that since the conquest 
ye cannot assign twenty years, which is the time that 
his majesty s reign now draws fast upon, of inward 


and outward peace. Insomuch, as the time of Queen 
Elizabeth, of happy memory, and always magnified 
for a peaceable reign, was nevertheless interrupted 
the first twenty years with a rebellion in England ; 
and both first and last twenty years with rebellions 
in Ireland. And yet I know, that his majesty will 
make good both his words, as well that of " Ne- 
" mo me lacessit impune," as that other of " Beati 
" pacifici." 

Sixthly, That true and primitive office of kings, 
which is, to sit in the gate and to judge the people, 
was never performed in like perfection by any of the 
king s progenitors : whereby his majesty hath shewed 
himself to be " lex loquens," and to sit upon the 
throne, not as a dumb statue, but as a speaking 

Seventhly, For his majesty s mercy, as you noted 
it well, shew me a time wherein a king of this realm 
hath reigned almost twenty years, as I said, in his 
white robes without the blood of any peer of this 
kingdom : the axe turned once or twice towards a 
peer, but never struck. 

Lastly, The flourishing of arts and sciences re 
created by his majesty s countenance and bounty, 
was never in that height, especially that art of arts, 
divinity ; for that we may truly to God s great glory 
confess, that since the primitive times, there were 
never so many stars, for so the Scripture calleth 
them, in that firmament. 

These things, Mr. Speaker, I have partly chosen 
out of your heap, and are so far from being vulgar, 


as they are in effect singular and proper to his ma 
jesty and his times. So that I have made good, as 
I take it, my first assertion ; that the only worthy 
commender of his majesty is time : which hath so 
set off his majesty s merits by the shadow of com 
parison, as it passeth the lustre or commendation of 

How then shall I conclude ? Shall I say, " O for- 
" tunatos nimium sua si bona norint ?" No, for I see 
ye are happy in enjoying them, and happy again in 
knowing them. But I will conclude this part with 
that saying, turned to the right hand : " Si gratum 
" dixeris, omnia dixeris." Your gratitude contains 
in a word all that I can say to you touching this 

Touching the third point of your speech, con 
cerning parliaments, I shall need to say little : for 
there was never that honour done to the institution of 
parliament, that his majesty did it in his last speech, 
making it in effect the perfection of monarchy ; for 
that although monarchy was the more ancient, and 
be independent, yet by the advice and assistance of 
parliament it is the stronger and the surer built. 

And therefore I shall say no more of this point ; 
but as you, Mr. Speaker, did well note, that when 
the king sits in parliament, and his prelates, peers, 
and commons attend him, he is in the exaltation of 
his orb ; so I wish things may be so carried, that he 
may be then in greatest serenity and benignity of 
aspect ; shining upon his people both in glory and 
grace. Now you know well, that the shining of the 


sun fair upon the ground, whereby all things exhi 
larate and do fructify, is either hindered by clouds 
above or mists below ; perhaps by brambles and 
briers that grow upon the ground itself. All which 
I hope at this time will be dispelled and removed. 

I come now to the last part of your speech, con 
cerning the petitions : but before I deliver his ma 
jesty s answer respectively in particular, I am to 
speak to you some few words in general ; wherein, 
in effect, I shall but glean, his majesty having so ex 
cellently and fully expressed himself. 

For that, that can be spoken pertinently, must be 
either touching the subject or matter of parliament 
business ; or of the manner and carriage of the 
same ; or lastly of the time, and the husbanding and 
marshalling of time. 

For the matters to be handled in parliament, 
they are either of church, state, laws, or grievances. 

For the first two, concerning church, or state, ye 
have heard the king himself speak ; and as the Scrip 
ture saith, " Who is he that in such things shall 
" come after the king ?" For the other two, I shall 
say somewhat, but very shortly. 

For laws, they are things proper for your own 
element ; and therefore therein ye are rather to lead 
than to be led. Only it is not amiss to put you in 
mind of two things ; the one, that ye do not multi 
ply or accumulate laws more than ye need. There is 
a wise and learned civilian that applies the curse of 
the prophet, " Pluet super eos laqueos/ to multipli 
city of laws : for they do but ensnare and entangle 


the people. I wish rather, that ye should either 
revive good laws that are fallen and discontinued, or 
provide against the slack execution of laws which 
are already in force ; or meet with the subtile eva 
sions from laws which time and craft hath under 
mined, than to make " novas creaturas legum," laws 
upon a new mould. 

The other point, touching laws, is, that ye busy not 
yourselves too much in private bills, except it be in 
cases wherein the help and arm of ordinary justice 
is too short. 

For grievances, his majesty hath with great grace 
and benignity opened himself. Nevertheless, the li 
mitations, which may make up your grievances not to 
beat the air only, but to sort to a desired effect, are 
principally two. The one, to use his majesty s term, 
that ye do not hunt after grievances, such as may 
seem rather to be stirred here when ye are met, 
than to have sprung from the desires of the country : 
ye are to represent the people ; ye are not to perso 
nate them. 

The other, that ye do not heap up grievances, as 
if numbers should make a shew where the weight is 
small ; or, as if all things amiss, like Plato s common 
wealth, should be remedied at once. It is certain, 
that the best governments, yea, and the best men, 
are like the best precious stones, wherein every flaw 
or icicle or grain are seen and noted more than in 
those that are generally foul and corrupted. 

Therefore contain yourselves within that mode 
ration as may appear to bend rather to the effectual 


ease of the people, than to a discursive envy, or scan 
dal upon the state. 

As for the manner of carriage of parliament busi- 
ness, ye must know, that ye deal with a king that 
hath been longer king than any of you have been 
parliament men ; and a king that is no less sensible 
of forms than of matter ; and is as far from enduring 
diminution of majesty, as from regarding flattery or 
vain-glory ; and a king that understandeth as well 
the pulse of the hearts of people as his own orb. 
And therefore, both let your grievances have a decent 
and reverend form and style ; and to use the words 
of former parliaments, let them be " tanquam ge- 
" mitus columbse," without pique or harshness : and 
on the other side, in that ye do for the king, let it 
have a mark of unity, alacrity, and affection ; which 
will be of this force, that whatsoever ye do in sub 
stance, will be doubled in reputation abroad, as in a 
crystal glass. 

For the time, if ever parliament was to be mea 
sured by the hour-glass, it is this j in regard of the 
instant occasion flying away irrecoverably. There 
fore let your speeches in the house be the speeches 
of counsellors, and not of orators; let your com 
mittees tend to dispatch, not to dispute ; and so 
marshal the times as the public business, especially 
the proper business of the parliament, be put first, 
and private bills be put last, as time shall give leave, 
or within the spaces of the public. 

For the four petitions, his majesty is pleased to 


grant them all as liberally as the ancient and true 
custom of parliament doth warrant, and with the 
cautions that have ever gone with them ; that is to 
say, That the privilege be not used for defrauding 
of creditors and defeating of ordinary justice : that 
liberty of speech turn not into licence, but be joined 
with that gravity and discretion, as may taste of 
duty and love to your sovereign, reverence to your 
own assembly, and respect to the matters ye handle: 
that your accesses be at such fit times, as may stand 
best with his majesty s pleasure and occasions : that 
mistakings and misunderstandings be rather avoided 
and prevented, as much as may be, than salved or 



AND please you, Mr. Speaker, I must consider the 
time which is spent ; but yet so, as I must consider 
also the matter, which is great. This great cause 
was, at the first, so materially and weightily pro 
pounded ; and after, in such sort persuaded and en 
forced ; and by him that last spake, so much time 
taken, and yet to good purpose ; as I shall speak at 
a great disadvantage : but because it hath been 
always used, and the mixture of this house doth so 
require it, that in causes of this nature there be 
some speech and opinion, as well from persons of 
generality, as by persons of authority, I will say 
somewhat, and not much : wherein it shall not be fit 
for me to enter into, or to insist upon secrets, either 
of her majesty s coffers, or of her council ; but my 
speech must be of a more vulgar nature. 

I will not enter, Mr. Speaker, into a laudative 
speech of the high and singular benefits, which by 
her majesty s most politic and happy government we 
receive, thereby to incite you to a retribution ; 
partly because no breath of man can set them forth 
worthily ; and partly because, I know, her majesty 
in her magnanimity doth bestow her benefits like 
her freest patents, " absque aliquo inde reddendo ;" 


not looking for any thing again, if it were in respect 
only of her particular, but love and loyalty. Neither 
will I now at this time put the case of this realm of 
England too precisely ; how it standeth with the 
subject in point of payments to the crown : though I 
could make it appear by demonstration, what opi 
nion soever be conceived, that never subjects were 
partakers of greater freedom and ease ; and that 
whether you look abroad into other countries at this 
present time, or look back to former times in this 
our own country, we shall find an exceeding differ 
ence in matter of taxes ; which now I reserve to 
mention ; not so much in doubt to acquaint your 
ears with foreign strains, or to dig up the sepulchres 
of buried and forgotten impositions, which in this 
case, as by way of comparison, it is necessary you 
understand ; but because speech in the house is fit 
to persuade the general point, and particularly is 
more proper and seasonable for the committee : 
neither will I make any observations upon her ma 
jesty s manner of expending and issuing treasure ; 
being not upon excessive and exorbitant donatives ; 
nor upon sumptuous and unnecessary triumphs, 
buildings, or like magnificence ; but upon the pre 
servation, protection, and honour of the realm : for 
I dare not scan upon her majesty s actions, which it 
becometh me rather to admire in silence, than to 
gloss or discourse upon them, though with never so 
good a meaning. Sure I am that the treasure that 
cometh from you to her majesty is but as a vapour 
which riseth from the earth, and gathereth into a 


cloud, and stayeth not there long ; but upon the 
same earth it falleth again : and what if some drops 
of this do fall upon France or Flanders ? It is like 
a sweet odour of honour and reputation to our 
nation throughout the world. But I will only in 
sist upon the natural and inviolate law of preserva 

It is a truth, Mr. Speaker, and a familiar truth, 
that safety and preservation is to be preferred before 
benefit or increase, inasmuch as those counsels which 
tend to preservation seem to be attended with neces 
sity : whereas those deliberations which tend to 
benefit, seem only accompanied with persuasion. 
And it is ever gain and no loss, when at the foot of 
the account there remains the purchase of safety. 
The prints of this are every where to be found : the 
patient will ever part with some of his blood to save 
and clear the rest : the sea-faring man will, in a 
storm, cast over some of his goods to save and assure 
the rest : the husbandman will afford some foot of 
ground for his hedge and ditch, to fortify and defend 
the rest. Why, Mr. Speaker, the disputer will, if he 
be wise and cunning, grant somewhat that seemeth 
to make against him, because he will keep himself 
within the strength of his opinion, and the better 
maintain the rest. But this place advertiseth me 
not to handle the matter in a common place. I will 
now deliver unto you that, which, upon a " pro- 
" batum est," hath wrought upon myself, knowing 
your affections to be like mine own. There hath 
fallen out, since the last parliament, four accidents 


or occurrents of state ; things published and known 
to you all ; by every one whereof it seemeth to me, 
in my vulgar understanding, that the danger of this 
realm is increased : which I speak not by way of 
apprehending fear, for I know I speak to English 
courages; but by way of pressing provision : for I 
do find, Mr. Speaker, that when kingdoms and 
states are entered into terms and resolutions of hos 
tility one against the other ; yet they are many 
times restrained from their attempts by four im 

The first is by this same " aliud agere ;" when 
they have their hands full of other matters, which 
they have embraced, and serveth for a diversion of 
their hostile purposes. 

The next is, when they want the commodity or 
opportunity of some places of near approach. 

The third, when they have conceived an appre 
hension of the difficulty and churlishness of the 
enterprise, and that it is not prepared to their 

And the fourth is, when a state, through the age 
of the monarch, groweth heavy and indisposed to 
actions of great peril and motion : and this dull 
humour is not sharpened nor inflamed by any pro 
vocations or scorns. Now if it please you to ex 
amine, whether by removing the impediments, in 
these four kinds, the danger be not grown so many 
degrees nearer us by accidents, as I said, fresh, and 
all dated since the last parliament. 

Soon after the last parliament, you may be 


pleased to remember how the French king revolted 
from his religion; whereby every man of common 
understanding may infer, that the quarrel between 
France and Spain is more reconcileable, and a greater 
inclination of affairs to a peace than before : which 
supposed, it followeth, Spain shall be more free to 
intend his malice against this realm. 

Since the last parliament, it is also notorious in 
every man s knowledge and remembrance, that the 
Spaniards have possessed themselves of that avenue 
and place of approach for England, which was never 
in the hands of any king of Spain before ; and that 
is Calais ; which in true reason and consideration of 
estate of what value or service it is, I know not; but 
in common understanding, it is a knocking at our 

Since the last parliament also that ulcer of Ire 
land, which indeed brake forth before, hath run on 
and raged more : which cannot but be a great at 
tractive to the ambition of the council of Spain, who 
by former experience know of how tough a com 
plexion this realm of England is to be assailed ; and 
therefore, as rheums and fluxes of humours, is like to 
resort to that part which is weak and distempered. 

And lastly, it is famous now, and so will be many 
ages hence, how by these two sea-journeys we have 
braved him, and objected him to scorn : so that no 
blood can be so frozen or mortified, but must needs 
take flames of revenge upon so mighty a disgrace. 

So as this concurrence of occurrents, all since our 
last assembly, some to deliver and free our enemies, 


some to advance and bring him on his way, some to 
tempt and allure him, some to spur on and provoke 
him, cannot but threaten an increase of our peril in 
great proportion. 

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, I will but reduce to the 
memory of this house one other argument, for ample 
and large providing and supplying treasure : and 
this it is : 

I see men do with great alacrity and spirit pro 
ceed when they have obtained a course they long 
wished for and were restrained from. Myself can 
remember both in this honourable assembly, and in 
all other places of this realm, how forward and af 
fectionate men were to have an invasive war. Then 
we would say, a defensive war was like eating and 
consuming interest, and needs we would be adven 
turers and assailants : " Habes quod tota mente pe- 
" tisti :" shall we not now make it good ? especially 
when we have tasted so prosperous fruit of our de 

The first of these expeditions invasive was atchiev- 
ed with great felicity, ravished a strong and famous 
port in the lap and bosom of their high countries ; 
brought them to such despair as they fired them 
selves and their Indian fleet in sacrifice, as a good 
odour and incense unto God for the great and bar 
barous cruelties which they have committed upon the 
poor Indians, whither that fleet was sailing ; disor 
dered their reckonings so, as the next news we 
heard of was nothing but protesting of bills and 
breaking credit. 


The second journey was with notable resolution 
borne up against weather and all difficulties ; and 
besides the success in amusing him and putting him 
to infinite charge, sure I am it was like a Tartar s or 
Parthian s bow, which shooteth backward, and had 
a most strong and violent effect and operation both 
in France and Flanders ; so that our neighbours and 
confederates have reaped the harvest of it ; and 
while the life-blood of Spain went inward to the 
heart, the outward limbs and members trembled, 
and could not resist. And lastly, we have a perfect 
account of all the noble and good blood that was 
.carried forth, and of all our sea-walls and good 
shipping, without mortality of persons, wreck of 
vessels, or any manner of diminution. And these have 
been the happy effects of our so long and so much 
desired invasive war. 

To conclude, Mr. Speaker, therefore, I doubt 
not but every man will consent that our gift must 
bear these two marks and badges : the one, of the 
danger of the realm by so great a proportion, since 
the last parliament, increased ; the other, of the sa 
tisfaction we receive in having obtained our so earn 
est and ardent desire of an invasive war. 







" Lex vitiorum emendatrix, virtutum commendatrix est. 

You are to know, and consider well the duty and 
service to which you are called, and whereupon you 
are by your oath charged. It is the happy estate and 
condition of the subject of this realm of England, 
that Jhe is not to be impeached in his life, lands, or 
goods, by flying rumours, or wandering fames and 
reports, or secret and privy inquisitions ; but by 
the oath and presentment of men of honest condi 
tion, in the face of justice. But this happy estate of 
the subject will turn to hurt and inconvenience, if 
those that hold that part which you are now to 
perform shall be negligent and remiss in doing their 
duty ; for as of two evils it were better mens doings 
were looked into over-strictly and severely, than 
that there should be a notorious impunity of male 
factors; as was well and wisely said of ancient time^ 
" a man were better live where nothing is lawful, 
" than where all things are lawful." This therefore 
rests in your care and conscience, forasmuch as at 
you justice begins, and the law cannot pursue and 


chase offenders to their deserved fall, except you 
first put them up and discover them, whereby they 
may be brought to answer ; for your verdict is not 
concluding to condemn, but it is necessary to charge, 
and without it the court cannot proceed to con 

Considering therefore that ye are the eye of 
justice, ye ought to be single, without partial affec 
tion ; watchful, not asleep, or false asleep in wink 
ing at offenders, and sharp-sighted to proceed with 
understanding and discretion : for in a word, if you 
shall not present unto the court all such offences, 
as shall appear unto you either by evidence given 
in, or otherwise, mark what I say, of your own 
knowledge, which have been committed within the 
verge, which is as it were the limits of your survey, 
but shall smother and conceal any offence willingly, 
then the guiltiness of others will cleave to your con 
sciences before God ; and besides, you are answer 
able in some degree to the king and his law for 
such your default and suppression ; and therefore 
take good regard unto it, you are to serve the king 
and his people, you are to keep and observe your 
oath, you are to acquit yourselves. 

But there is yet more cause why you should take 
more special regard to your presentments, than any 
other grand juries within the counties of this king 
dom at large : for as it is a nearer degree and ap 
proach unto the king, which is the fountain of jus 
tice and government, to be the king s servant, than 
to be the king s subject ; so this commission ordained 


for the king s servants and household, ought in the 
execution of justice to be exemplary unto other 
places. David said, who was a king, " The wicked 
" man shall not abide in my house ;" as taking know 
ledge that it was impossible for kings to extend their 
care, to banish wickedness over all their land or em 
pire ; but yet at least they ought to undertake to 
God for their house. 

We see further, that the law doth so esteem the 
dignity of the king s settled mansion-house, as it 
hath laid unto it a plot of twelve miles round, which 
we call the verge, to be subject to a special and 
exempted jurisdiction depending upon his person 
and great officers. This is as a half-pace or carpet 
spread about the king s chair of estate, which there 
fore ought to be cleared and voided more than other 
places of the kingdom ; for if offences should be 
shrouded under the king s wings, what hope is there 
of discipline and good justice in more remote parts ? 
We see the sun, when it is at the brightest, there 
may be perhaps a bank of clouds in the north, or the 
west, or remote regions, but near his body few or 
none ; for where the king cometh, there should 
come peace and order, and an awe and reverence in 
mens hearts. 

And this jurisdiction was in ancient time exe 
cuted, and since by statute ratified, by the lord 
steward with great ceremony, in the nature of a 
peculiar king s bench for the verge ; for it was 
thought a kind of eclipsing to the king s honour, 
that where the king was, any justice should be 


sought but immediately from his own officers. But 
in respect that office was oft void, this commission 
hath succeeded, which change I do not dislike ; for 
though it hath less state, yet it hath more strength 
legally : therefore I say, you that are a jury of the 
verge, should lead and give a pattern unto others in 
the care and conscience of your presentments. 

Concerning the particular points and articles 
whereof you shall inquire, I will help your memory 
and mine own with order ; neither will I load you, 
or trouble myself with every branch of several 
offences, but stand upon those that are principal and 
most in use : the offences therefore that you are to 
present are of four natures. 

I. The first, such as concern God and his 


II. The second, such as concern the king and his 


III. The third, such as concern the king s people 
and are capital. 

IV. The fourth, such as concern the kings 
people, not capital. 

The service of almighty God, upon whose bless 
ing the peace, safety, and good estate of king and 
kingdom doth depend, may be violated, and God 
dishonoured in three manners, by profanation, by 
contempt, and by division, or breach of unity. 

First, if any man hath depraved or abused in 
word or deed the blessed sacrament, or disturbed the 
preacher or congregation in the time of divine ser- 


vice ; or if any have maliciously stricken with weapon, 
or drawn weapon in any church or church-yard; 
or if any fair or market have been kept in any 
church-yard, these are profanations within the pur 
view of several statutes, and those you are to present : 
for holy things, actions, times, and sacred places, 
are to be preserved in reverence and divine respect. 
For contempts of our church and service, they 
are comprehended in that known name, which too 
many, if it pleased God, bear, recusancy ; which 
offence hath many branches and dependencies ; the 
wife-recusant, she tempts ; the church papist, he 
feeds and relieves ; the corrupt schoolmaster, he 
soweth tares ; the dissembler, he conformeth and 
doth not communicate. Therefore if any person, 
man or woman, wife or sole, above the age of six 
teen years, not having some lawful excuse, have not 
repaired to church according to the several statutes; 
the one, for the weekly, the other, for the monthly 
repair, you are to present both the offence and the 
time how long. Again, such as maintain, relieve, 
keep in service of livery recusants, though themselves 
be none, you are likewise to present ; for these be 
like the roots of nettles, which sting not themselves, 
but bear and maintain the stinging leaves : so if any 
that keepeth a schoolmaster that comes not to 
church, or is not allowed by the bishop, for that in 
fection may spread far : so such recusants as have 
been convicted and conformed, and have not received 
the sacrament once a year, for that is the touch- 


stone of their true conversion : and of these offences 
of recusancy take you special regard. Twelve miles 
from court is no region for such subjects In the 
name of God, why should not twelve miles about 
the king s chair be as free from papist-recusants, as 
twelve miles from the city of Rome, the pope s chair, 
is from protestants ? There be hypocrites and 
atheists, and so I fear there be amongst us ; but no 
open contempt of their religion is endured. If 
there must be recusants, it were better they lurked 
in the country, than here in the bosom of the 

For matter of division and breach of unity, it is 
not without a mystery that Christ s coat had no 
seam, nor no more should the Church if it were pos 
sible. Therefore if any minister refuse to use the 
book of Common-prayer, or wilfully swerveth in 
divine service from that book ; or if any person 
whatsover do scandalize that book, and speak openly 
and maliciously in derogation of it ; such men do 
but make a rent in the garment, and such are by 
you to be inquired of. But much more, such as are 
not only differing, but in a sort opposite unto it, by 
using a superstitious and corrupted form of divine 
service ; I mean, such as say or hear mass. 

These offences which I have recited to you, are 
against the service and worship of God : there re 
main two which likewise pertain to the dishonour of 
God ; the one, is the abuse of his name by perjury ; 
the other, is the adhering to God s declared enemies, 


evil and outcast spirits, by conjuration and witch 

For perjury, it is hard to say whether it be more 
odious to God, or pernicious to man ; for an oath, 
saith the apostle, is the end of controversies : if 
therefore that boundary of suits be taken away or 
mis-set, where shall be the end ? Therefore you are 
to inquire of wilful and corrupt perjury in any of 
the king s courts, yea, of court-barons and the like, 
and that as well of the actors, as of the procurer 
and suborner. 

For witchcraft, by the former law it was not 
death, except it were actual and gross invocation 
of evil spirits, or making covenant with them, or 
taking away life by witchcraft : but now by an act 
in his majesty s times, charms and sorceries in cer 
tain cases of procuring of unlawful love or bodily 
hurt, and some others, are made felony the second 
offence ; the first being imprisonment and pillory. 

And here I do conclude my first part concerning 
religion and ecclesiastical causes : wherein it may be 
thought that I do forget matters of supremacy, or of 
Jesuits, and seminaries, and the like, which are 
usually sorted with causes of religion : but I must 
have leave to direct myself according to mine own 
persuasion, which is, that, whatsoever hath been said 
or written on the other side, all the late statutes, 
which inflict capital punishment upon extollers of 
the pope s supremacy, deniers of the king s supre 
macy, Jesuits and seminaries, and other offenders of 
that nature, have for their principal scope, not the 


punishment of the error of conscience, but the re 
pressing of the peril of the estate. This is the true 
spirit of these laws, and therefore I will place them 
under my second division, which is of offences that 
concern the king and his estate, to which now I come. 

THESE offences therefore respect either the safety 
of the king s person, or the safety of his estate and 
kingdom, which though they cannot be dissevered 
in deed, yet they may be distinguished in speech. 
First then, if any have conspired against the life of 
the king, which God have in his custody ! or of the 
queen s majesty, or of the most noble prince their 
eldest son ; the very compassing and inward imagi 
nation thereof is high treason, if it can be proved 
by any fact that is overt : for in the case of so sudden, 
dark, and pernicious, and peremptory attempts, it 
were too late for the law to take a blow before it 
gives ; and this high treason of all other is most 
heinous, of which you shall inquire, though I hope 
there be no cause. 

There is another capital offence that hath an 
affinity with this, whereof you here within the verge 
are most properly to inquire ; the king s privy-coun 
cil are as the principal watch over the safety of the 
king, so as their safety is a portion of his : if there 
fore any of the king s servants within his cheque-roll, 
for to them only the law extends, have conspired the 
death of any the king s privy-council, this is felony, 
and thereof you shall inquire. 

And since we are now in that branch of the 


king s person, I will speak also of the king s person 
by representation, and the treasons which touch the 

The king s person and authority is represented 
in three things ; in his seals, in his monies, and in 
his principal magistrates : if therefore any have 
counterfeited the king s great seal, privy seal, or seal 
manual ; or counterfeited, clipped, or scaled his 
monies, or other monies current, this is high treason ; 
so is it to kill certain great officers or judges execu 
ting their office. 

We will now pass to those treasons which con 
cern the safety of the king s estate, which are of 
three kinds, answering to three perils which may 
happen to an estate ; these perils are, foreign inva 
sion, open rebellion and sedition, and privy practice 
to alienate and estrange the hearts of the subjects, 
and to prepare them either to adhere to enemies, 
or to burst out into tumults and commotions of 

Therefore if any person have solicited or pro 
cured any invasion from foreigners ; or if any have 
combined to raise and stir the people to rebellion 
within the realm ; these are high treasons, tending 
to the overthrow of the estate of this commonwealth, 
and to be inquired of. 

The third part of practice hath divers branches, 
but one principal root in these our times, which is 
the vast and overspreading ambition and usurpation 
of the see of Rome ; for the pope of Rome is, ac 
cording to his late challenges and pretences, become 


a competitor and corrival with the king, for the 
hearts and ohediences of the king s subjects : he 
stands for it, he sends over his love-tokens and 
brokers, under colour of conscience, to steal and 
win away the hearts and allegiances of the people, 
and to make them as fuel ready to take fire upon 
any his commandments. 

This is that yoke which this kingdom hath happily 
cast off, even at such time when the popish religion 
was nevertheless continued, and that divers states, 
which are the pope s vassals, do likewise begin to 
shake off. 

If therefore any person have maintained and ex 
tolled the usurped authority of the bishop of Rome 
within the king s dominions, by writing, preaching, 
or deed, advisedly, directly and maliciously ; or if 
any person have published or put in use any of the 
pope s bulls or instruments of absolution ; or if any 
person have withdrawn, and reconciled, any of the 
king s subjects from their obedience, or been with 
drawn and reconciled ; or if any subject have re 
fused the second time to take the oath of supremacy 
lawfully tendered ; or if any Jesuit or seminary 
come and abide within this realm ; these are by se 
veral statutes made cases of high treason, the law 
accounting these things as preparatives, and the 
first wheels and secret motions of seditions and re 
volts from the king s obedience. Of these you are 
to inquire, both of the actors and of their abettors, 
comforters* receivers, maintainers ; and concealers, 
which in some cases are traitors, as well as the prin- 


cipal, in some cases in " praemunire, in some other, 
in misprision of treason, which I will not stand to 
distinguish, and in some other, felony ; as namely, 
that of the receiving and relieving of Jesuits and 
priests ; the bringing in and dispersing of " Agnus 
" Dei s," crosses, pictures, or such trash, is likewise 
" praemunire :" and so is the denial to take the oath of 
supremacy the first time. 

And because in the disposition of a state to 
troubles and perturbations, military men are most 
tickle and dangerous ; therefore if any of the king s 
subjects go over to serve in foreign parts, and do 
not first endure the touch, that is, to take the oath 
of allegiance ; or if he have borne office in any army, 
and do not enter into bond with sureties as is pre 
scribed, this is made felony ; and such as you shall 

Lastly, because the vulgar people are sometimes 
led with vain and fond prophecies ; if any such shall 
be published, to the end to move stirs or tumults, 
this is not felony, but punished by a year s imprison 
ment and loss of goods ; and of this also shall you 

You shall likewise understand that the escape of 
any prisoner committed for treason, is treason; 
whereof you are likewise to inquire. 

Now come I to the third part of my division ; 
that is, those offences which concern the king s 
people, and are capital ; which nevertheless the law 


terms offences against the crown, in respect of the 
protection that the king hath of his people, and the 
interest he hath in them and their welfare ; for touch 
them, touch the king. These offences are of three 
natures : the first concerneth the conservation of 
their lives ; the second, of honour and honesty of 
their persons and families ; and the third, of their 

First for life. I must say unto you in general, 
that life is grown too cheap in these times, it is set 
at the price of words, and every petty scorn and 
disgrace can have no other reparation ; nay so 
many men s lives are taken away with impunity, 
that the very life of the law is almost taken 
away, which is the execution ; and therefore though 
we cannot restore the life of those men that are 
slain, yet I pray let us restore the law to her life, by 
proceeding with due severity against the offenders ; 
and most especially this plot of ground, which, as I 
said, is the king s carpet, ought not to be stained 
with blood, crying in the ears of God and the king. 
It is true nevertheless, that the law doth make 
divers just differences of life taken away ; but yet no 
such differences as the wanton humours and braveries 
of men have under a reverend name of honour and 
reputation invented. 

The highest degree is where such a one is killed, 
unto whom the offender did bear faith and obe 
dience ; as the servant to the master, the wife to the 
husband, the clerk to the prelate ; and I shall ever 


add, for so I conceive of the law, the child to the 
father or the mother; and this the law terms petty 

The second is, Where a man is slain upon fore 
thought malice, which the law terms murder ; and 
it is an offence horrible and odious, and cannot be 
blanched, nor made fair, but foul. 

The third is, Where a man is killed upon a sud 
den heat or affray, whereunto the law gives some 
little favour, because a man in fury is not himself, 
* ira furor brevis," wrath is a short madness ; and 
the wisdom of law in his majesty s time hath made a 
subdivision of the stab given, where the party stabbed 
is out of defence, and had not given the first blow, 
from other manslaughters. 

The fourth degree is, That of killing a man in 
the party s own defence, or by misadventure, which 
though they be not felonies, yet nevertheless the law 
doth not suffer them to go unpunished : because it 
doth discern some sparks of a bloody mind in the 
one, and of carelessness in the other. 

And the fifth is, Where the law doth admit a 
kind of justification, not by plea, for a man may not, 
that hath shed blood, affront the law with pleading 
not guilty ; but when the case is found by verdict, 
being disclosed upon the evidence ; as where a man 
in the king s highway and peace is assailed to be 
murdered or robbed ; or when a man defending his 
house, which is his castle, against unlawful violence; 
or when a sheriff or minister of justice is resisted in 
the execution of his office ; or when the patient dieth 
VOL. vi. H 


in the chirurgeon s hands, upon cutting or otherwise: 
for these cases the law doth privilege, because of the 
necessity, and because of the innocency of the in 

Thus much for the death of man, of which cases 
you are to inquire; together with the accessories 
before and after the fact. 

For the second kind, which concerns the honour 
and chasteness of persons and families ; you are to 
inquire of the ravishment of women, of the taking of 
women out of the possession of their parents or 
guardians against their will, or marrying them, or 
abusing them ; of double marriages, where there 
was not first seven years absence, and no notice that 
the party so absent was alive, and other felonies 
against the honesty of life. 

For the third kind, which concerneth men s sub- 
stance, you shall inquire of burglaries, robberies, cut 
ting of purses, and taking of any thing from the 
person : and generally other stealths, as well such 
as are plain, as those that are disguised, whereof I 
will by and by speak : but first I must require you 
to use diligence in presenting especially those pur- 
loinings and embezzlements, which are of plate, 
vessel, or whatsoever within the king s house. The 
king s house is an open place ; it ought to be kept 
safe by law, and not by lock, and therefore needeth 
the more severity. 

Now for coloured and disguised robberies ; I will 
name two or three of them : the purveyor that takes 
without warrant, is no better than a thief, and it is 


felony. The servant that hath the keeping of his 
majesty s goods, and going away with them, though 
he came to the possession of them lawfully, it is 
felony. Of these you shall likewise inquire, princi 
pals and accessories. The voluntary escape of a felon 
is also felony. 

FOR the last part, which is of offences concern 
ing the people not capital, they are many : but I will 
select only such as I think fittest to be remembered 
unto you, still dividing, to give you the better light. 
They are of four natures. 

1. The first, is matter of force and outrage. 

2. The second, matter of fraud and deceit. 

3. Public nuisances and grievances. 

4. The fourth, breach and inobservance of certain 
wholesome and politic laws for government. 

For the first, you shall inquire of riots and un 
lawful assemblies of forcible entries, and detainers 
with force ; and properly of all assaults of striking, 
drawing weapon or other violence within the king s 
house, and the precincts thereof: for the king s 
house, from whence example of peace should flow 
unto the farthest parts of the kingdom, as the oint 
ment of Aaron s head to the skirts of his garment, 
ought to be sacred and inviolate from force and 
brawls, as well in respect of reverence to the place, 
as in respect of danger of greater tumult, and of ill 
example to the whole kingdom ; and therefore in 
that place all should be full of peace, order, regard, 
forbearance, and silence. 


Besides open force, there is a kind of force that 
cometh with an armed hand, but disguised, that is 
no less hateful and hurtful ; and that is, abuse and 
oppression by authority. And therefore you shall 
inquire of all extortions, in officers and ministers; as 
sheriffs, bailiffs of hundreds, escheators, coroners, 
constables, ordinaries, and others, who by colour of 
office do poll the people. 

For frauds and deceits, I do chiefly commend to 
your care the frauds and deceits in that which is the 
chief means of all just contract and permutation, 
which is, weights and measures ; wherein, although 
God hath pronounced that a false weight is an 
abomination, yet the abuse is so common and so 
general, I mean of weights, and I speak upon know 
ledge and late examination, that if one were to 
build a church, he should need but false weights, 
and not seek them far, of the piles of brass to make 
the bells, and the weights of lead to make the bat 
tlements : and herein you are to make special 
inquiry, whether the clerk of the market within the 
verge, to whom properly it appertains, hath done 
his duty. 

For nuisances and grievances, I will for the pre 
sent only single out one, that ye present the decays 
of highways and bridges ; for where the majesty of 
a king s house draws recourse and access, it is both 
disgraceful to the king, and diseaseful to the people, 
if the ways near-abouts be not fair and good ; 
wherein it is strange to see the chargeable pave 
ments and causeways in the avenues and entrances 


of towns abroad beyond the seas ; whereas London, 
the second city at the least of Europe, in glory, in 
greatness, and in wealth, cannot be discerned by the 
fairness of the ways, though a little perhaps by the 
broadness of them, from a village. 

For the last part, because I pass these things 
over briefly, I will make mention unto you of three 

1. The one, concerning the king s pleasure. 

2. The second, concerning the people s food. 

3. And the third, concerning wares and manu 

You shall therefore inquire of the lawful taking 
partridges and pheasants or fowl, the destruction of 
the eggs of the wild-fowl, the killing of hares or 
deer, and the selling of venison or hares : for that 
which is for exercise, and sport, and courtesy, should 
not be turned to gluttony and sale victual. 

You shall also inquire whether bakers and 
brewers keep their assize, and whether as well they 
as butchers, innholders and victuallers, do sell that 
which is wholesome, and at reasonable prices, and 
whether they do link and combine to raise prices. 

Lastly, you shall inquire whether the good 
statute be observed, whereby a man may have that 
he thinketh he hath, and not be abused or mis- 
served in that he buys : I mean that statute that 
requireth that none use any manual occupation but 
such as have been seven years apprentice to it ; 
which law being generally transgressed, makes the 


people buy in effect chaff for corn ; for that which is 
mis-wrought will mis-wear. 

There he many more things inquirable by you 
throughout all the former parts, which it were over- 
long in particular to recite. You may be supplied 
either out of your own experience, or out of such 
bills and informations as shall be brought unto you, 
or upon any question that you shall demand of the 
court, which will be ready to give you any farther 
direction as far as is fit : but these which I have gone 
through, are the principal points of your charge ; 
which to present, you have taken the name of God 
to witness : and in the name of God perform it. 





1. THAT absolute prerogative, according to the king s 
pleasure, revealed by his laws, may be exercised and 
executed by any subject, to whom power may be 
given by the king, in any place of judgment or com 
mission, which the king by his law hath ordained : 
in which the judge subordinate cannot wrong the 
people, the law laying down a measure by which 
every judge should govern and execute; against 
which law if any judge proceed, he is by the law 
questionable, and punishable for his transgression. 

In this nature are all the judges and commis 
sioners of the land, no otherwise than in their courts* 
in which the king in person is supposed to sit, who 
cannot make that trespass, felony, or treason, which 
the law hath not made so to be, neither can punish 
the guilty by other punishment than the laws have 

This prerogative or power as it is over all the 
subjects, so being known by the subjects, they are 
without excuse if they offend, and suffer no wrong 
if they be justly punished ; and by this prerogative 
the king governeth all sorts of people according unto 
known will. 


2. The absolute prerogative, which is in kings 
according to their private will and judgment, cannot 
be executed by any subject ; neither is it possible to 
give such power by commission ; or fit to subject 
the people to the same ; for the king, in that he is 
the substitute of God immediately, the father of his 
people, and head of the commonwealth, hath, by 
participation with God, and with his subjects, a dis 
cretion, judgment, and feeling love towards those, 
over whom he reigneth, only proper to himself, or 
to his place and person ; who, seeing he cannot in 
any others infuse his wisdom, power, or gifts, which 
God, in respect of his place and charge, hath enabled 
him withal, can neither subordinate any other judge 
to govern by that knowledge, which the king can 
no otherwise, than by his known will, participate 
unto him : and if any such subordinate judge shall 
obtain commission according to the discretion of 
such judge to govern the people, that judge is bound 
to think that to be his soundest discretipn, which 
the law, in which is the king s known will, sheweth 
unto him to be that justice which he ought to 
administer ; otherwise he might seem to esteem him 
self above the king s law, who will not govern by it, 
or to have a power derived from other than from the 
king, which in the kingdom will administer justice 
contrary unto the justice of the land: neither can 
such a judge or commissioner under the name of the 
king s authority shroud his own high action, seeing 
the conscience and discretion of every man is par 
ticular and private to himself, so as the discretion of 


the judge cannot be properly or possibly the discretion 
or the conscience of the king ; and if not his discre 
tion, neither the judgment that is ruled by another 
man s only. 

Therefore it may seem they rather desire to be 
kings, than to rule the people under the king, which 
will not administer justice by law, but by their own 

3. This administration in a subject is deroga. 
tive to the king s prerogative ; for he administereth 
justice out of a private direction, being not capable 
of a general direction how to use the king s subjects 
at pleasure, in causes of particular respect ; which 
if no other than the king himself can do, how can it 
be so that any man should desire that which is unfit 
and impossible, but that it must proceed out of some 
exorbitant affection ? the rather, seeing such places 
be full of trouble and altogether unnecessary, no 
man will seek to thrust himself into them but for 
hopes of gain. Then is not any prerogative op 
pugned, but maintained, though it be desired, that 
every subordinate magistrate may not be made su_ 
preme, whereby he may seize upon the hearts of the 
people, take from the king the respect due unto him 
only, or judge the people otherwise than the king 
doth himself. 

4. And although the prince be not bound to 
render any account to the law, which in person he 
administereth himself, yet every subordinate judge 
must render an account to the king, by his laws, 
how he hath administered justice in his place where 


he is set. But if he hath power to rule by private 
direction, for which there is no law, how can he be 
questioned by a law, if in his private censure he of 
fends ? 

5. Therefore, it seemeth, that in giving such au 
thority, the king ordaineth not subordinate magis 
trates, but absolute kings : and what doth the king 
leave to himself, who giveth so much to others, as he 
hath himself? Neither is there a greater bond to tie 
the subject to his prince in particular, than when he 
shall have recourse unto him, in his person, or in his 
power, for relief of the wrongs which from private 
men be offered ; or for reformation of the oppres 
sions which any subordinate magistrate shall impose 
upon the people. There can be no offence in the 
judge, who hath power to execute according to his 
discretion, when the discretion of any judge shall be 
thought fit to be limited, and therefore there can be 
therein no reformation ; whereby the king in this 
useth no prerogative to gain his subjects right ; then 
the subject is bound to suffer helpless wrong ; and 
the discontent of the people is cast upon the king ; 
the laws being neglected, which with their equity in 
all other causes and judgments, saving this, inter 
pose themselves and yield remedy. 

6. And to conclude, custom cannot confirm that 
which is any ways unreasonable of itself. 

Wisdom will not allow that, which is many ways 
dangerous, and no ways profitable. 

Justice will not approve that government, where 
it cannot be but wrong must be committed. 


Neither can there be any rule by which to try it, 
nor means of reformation of it. 

7. Therefore, whosoever desireth government 
must seek such as he is capable of, not such as seem- 
eth to himself most easy to execute ; for it is appa 
rent, that it is easy to him that knoweth not law nor 
justice, to rule as he listeth, his will never wanting a 
power to itself: but it is safe and blameless, both for 
the judge and people, and honour to the king, that 
judges be appointed who know the law, and that 
they be limited to govern according to the law. 





With the DECREE of the Star-Chamber in the same Cause. 


I THOUGHT it fit for my place, and for these times, 
to bring to hearing before your lordships some cause 
touching private duels, to see if this court can do 
any good to tame and reclaim that evil which seems 
unbridled. And I could have wished that 1 had 
met with some greater persons, as a subject for your 
censure, both because it had been more worthy of 
this presence, and also the better to have shewed the 
resolution myself hath to proceed without respect of 
persons in this business : but finding this cause on 
foot in my predecessor s time, and published and 
ready for hearing, I thought to lose no time in a 
mischief that groweth every day : and besides, it 
passes not amiss sometimes in government, that the 
greater sort be admonished by an example made in 
the meaner, and the dog to be beaten before the 
lion. Nay, I should think, my lords, that men of 


birth and quality will leave the practice when it 
begins to be vilified, and come so low as to barber- 
surgeons and butchers, and such base mechanical 

And for the greatness of this presence, in which 
I take much comfort, both as I consider it in itself, 
and much more in respect it is by his majesty s 
direction, I will supply the meanness of the par 
ticular cause, by handling of the general point : to 
the end, that by the occasion of this present cause, 
both my purpose of prosecution against duels, and 
the opinion of the court, without which I am 
nothing, for the censure of them, may appear, and 
thereby offenders in that kind may read their own 
case, and know what they are to expect ; which may 
serve for a warning until example may be made in 
some greater person : which I doubt the times will 
but too soon afford. 

Therefore before I come to the particular, 
whereof your lordships are now to judge, I think it 
time best spent to speak somewhat : 

First, Of the nature and greatness of this mis 

Secondly, Of the causes and remedies. 
Thirdly, Of the justice of the law of England, 
which some stick not to think defective in this 

Fourthly, Of the capacity of this court, where 
certainly the remedy of this mischief is best to be 

And fifthly, Touching mine own purpose and 


resolution, wherein I shall humbly crave your lord 
ships aid and assistance. 

For the mischief itself, it may please your lord 
ships to take into your consideration that when re 
venge is once extorted out of the magistrates hands, 
contrary to God s ordinance, " Mihi vindicta, ego 
"retribuam," and every man shall bear the sword, not 
to defend, but to assail ; and private men begin once 
to presume to give law to themselves, and to right 
their own wrongs, no man can foresee the danger 
and inconveniences that may arise and multiply there 
upon. It may cause sudden storms in court, to the 
disturbance of his majesty, and unsafely of his 
person : it may grow from quarrels to bandying, 
and from bandying to trooping, and so to tumult 
and commotion ; from particular persons to dissen 
sion of families and alliances ; yea, to national quar 
rels, according to the infinite variety of accidents, 
which fall not under foresight : so that the state by 
this means shall be like to a distempered and imper 
fect body, continually subject to inflammations and 

Besides, certainly, both in divinity and in policy, 
offences of presumption are the greatest. Other 
offences yield and consent to the law that it is good, 
not daring to make defence, or to justify themselves; 
but this offence expressly gives the law an affront, 
as if there were two laws, one a kind of gown-law, 
and the other a law of reputation, as they term it ; 
so that Paul s and Westminster, the pulpit and the 
courts of justice, must give place to the law, as the 


king speaketh in his proclamation, of ordinary tables, 
and such reverend assemblies : the year-books, and 
statute-books must give place to some French and 
Italian pamphlets, which handle the doctrine of 
duels, which if they be in the right, " transeamus 
" ad ilia," let us receive them, and not keep the 
people in conflict and distraction between two 

Again, my lords, it is a miserable effect, when 
young men full of towardness and hope, such as the 
poets call " auroras filii," sons of the morning, in 
whom the expectation and comfort of their friends 
consisteth, shall be cast away and destroyed in such 
a vain manner ; but much more it is to be deplored 
when so much noble and genteel blood should be 
spilt upon such follies, as, if it were adventured in 
the field in service of the king and realm, were able 
to make the fortune of a day, and to change the 
fortune of a kingdom. So as your lordships see 
what a desperate evil this is ; it trouble th peace, it 
dis-furnisheth war, it bringeth calamity upon private 
men, peril upon the state, and contempt upon the 

Touching the causes of it ; the first motive, no 
doubt, is a false and erroneous imagination of honour 
and credit : and therefore the king, in his last pro 
clamation, doth most aptly and excellently call them 
bewitching duels. For, if one judge of it truly, it is 
no better than a sorcery that enchanteth the spirits 
of young men, that bear great minds with a false 
shew, " species falsa ;" and a kind of satanical illu- 


sion and apparition of honour against religion, against 
law, against moral virtue, and against the precedents 
and examples of the best times and valiantest nations ; 
as I shall tell you by and by, when I shall shew you 
the law of England is not alone in this point. 

But then the seed of this mischief being such, it 
is nourished by vain discourses, and green and unripe 
conceits, which nevertheless have so prevailed, as 
though a man were staid and sober-minded, and a 
right believer touching the vanity and unlawfulness 
of these duels ; yet the stream of vulgar opinion is 
such, as it imposeth a necessity upon men of value 
to conform themselves, or else there is no living or 
looking upon men s faces : so that we have not to 
do, in this case, so much with particular persons, as 
with unsound and depraved opinions, like the domi 
nations and spirits of the air which the Scripture 
speaketh of. 

Hereunto may be added, that men have almost 
lost the true notion and understanding of fortitude 
and valour. For fortitude distinguished of the 
grounds of quarrels whether they be just ; and not 
only so, but whether they be worthy ; and setteth a 
better price upon men s lives than to bestow them 
idly : nay, it is weakness and dis-ebteem of a man s 
self, to put a man s life upon such liedger perform 
ances : a man s life is not to be trifled away ; it is to 
be offered up and sacrificed to honourable services, 
public merits, good causes, and noble adventures. 
It is in expense of blood as it is in expense of money ; 
it is no liberality to make a profusion of money 


upon every vain occasion, nor no more it is fortitude 
to make effusion of blood, except the cause be of 
worth. And thus much for the causes of this 

For the remedies, I hope some great and noble 
person will put his hand to this plough, and I wish 
that my labours of this day may be but forerunners 
to the work of a higher and better hand. But yet 
to deliver my opinion as may be proper for this time 
and place, there be four things that I have thought 
on, as the most effectual for the repressing of this 
depraved custom of particular combats. 

The first is, that there do appear and be declared 
a constant and settled resolution in the state to 
abolish it. For this is a thing, my lords, must go 
down at once, or not at all ; for then every parti 
cular man will think himself acquitted in his repu 
tation, when he sees that the state takes it to heart, 
as an insult against the king s power and authority, 
and thereupon hath absolutely resolved to master it; 
like unto that which was set down in express words 
in the edict of Charles IX. of France touching duels, 
that the king himself took upon him the honour of 
all that took themselves grieved or interested for 
not having performed the combat. So must the 
state do in this business : and in my conscience 
there is none that is but of a reasonable sober dis 
position, be he never so valiant, except it be some 
furious person that is like a firework, but will be 
glad of it, when he shall see the law and rule 

VOL. vi. i 


of state disinterest him of a vain and unnecessary 


Secondly, Care must be taken that this evil be no 
more cockered, nor the humour of it fed ; wherein I 
humbly pray your lordships that I may speak my 
mind freely, and yet be understood aright. The 
proceedings of the great and noble commissioners 
martial I honour and reverence much, and of them 
I speak not in any sort ; but I say the compounding of 
quarrels, which is otherwise in use by private noble 
men and gentlemen, it is so punctual, and hath such 
reference and respect unto the received conceits, 
what s before-hand, and what s behind-hand, and I 
cannot tell what, as without all question it doth, in a 
fashion, countenance and authorize this practice of 
duels, as if it had in it somewhat of right. 

Thirdly, I must acknowledge that I learned out 
of the king s last proclamation,the most prudent and 
best applied remedy for this offence, if it shall please 
his majesty to use it, that the wit of man can devise. 
This offence, my lords, is grounded upon a false con 
ceit of honour, and therefore it would be punished 
in the same kind, " in eo quis rectissime plectitur, in 
" quo peccat." The fountain of honour is the king 
and his aspect, and the access to his person conti- 
nueth honour in life, and to be banished from his 
presence is one of the greatest eclipses of honour that 
can be; if his majesty shall be pleased that when this 
court shall censure any of these offences in persons 
of eminent quality, to add this out of his own power 


and discipline, that these persons shall be banished 
and excluded from his court for certain years, and 
the courts of his queen and prince, I think there is 
no man that hath any good blood in him will conv 
mit an act that shall cast him into that darkness, 
that he may not behold his sovereign s face. 

Lastly, and that which more properly concerneth 
this court : we see, rny lords, the root of this offence 
is stubborn, for it despiseth death, which is the ut 
most of punishments ; and it were a just but a mise 
rable severity, to execute the law without all remis 
sion or mercy, where the case proveth capital. And 
yet the late severity in France was more, where, by 
a kind of martial law, established by ordinance of 
the king and parliament, the party that had slain 
another was presently had to the gibbet, insomuch as 
gentlemen of great quality were hanged, their 
wounds bleeding, lest a natural death should pre 
vent the example of justice. But, my lords, the 
course which we shall take is of far greater lenity, 
and yet of no less efficacy ; which is to punish, in 
this court, all the middle acts and proceedings which 
tend to the duel, which I will enumerate to you 
anon, and so to hew and vex the root in the branches, 
which, no doubt, in the end will kill the root, and yet 
prevent the extremity of law. 

Now for the law of England, I see it excepted 
to, though ignorantly, in two points : 

The one, that it should make no difference be 
tween an insidious and foul murder, and the killing 
of a man upon fair terms, as they now call it. 


The other, That the law hath not provided suf 
ficient punishment, and reparations, for contumely 
of words, as the lye, and the like. 

But these are no better than childish novelties 
against the divine law, and against all laws in effect, 
and against the examples of all the bravest and most 
virtuous nations of the world. 

For first, for the law of God, there is never to be 
found any difference made in homicide, but between 
homicide voluntary, and involuntary, which we term 
misadventure. And for the case of misadventure 
itself, there were cities of refuge ; so that the offen 
der was put to his flight, and that flight was subject to 
accident, whether the revenger of blood should over 
take him before he had gotten sanctuary or no. It 
is true that our law hath made a more subtle dis 
tinction between the will inflamed and the will ad 
vised, between manslaughter in heat and murder 
upon prepensed malice or cold blood, as the soldiers 
call it, an indulgence not unfit for a choleric and 
warlike nation ; for it is true, " ira furor brevis ;" a 
man in fury is not himself. This privilege of pas 
sion the ancient Roman law restrained, but to a 
case : that was, if the husband took the adulterer in 
the manner ; to that rage and provocation only it 
gave way, that an homicide was justifiable. But 
for a difference to be made in case of killing and 
destroying man, upon a fore-thought purpose, be 
tween foul and fair, and as it were between single 
murder and vied murder, it is but a monstrous child 
of this latter age, and there is no shadow of it in 


any law divine or human. Only it is true, I find in 
the Scripture that Cain inticed his brother into the 
field and slew him treacherously ; but Lamech 
vaunted of his manhood that he would kill a young 
man, and if it were to his hurt : so as I see no differ 
ence between an insidious murder and a braving or 
presumptuous murder, but the difference between 
Cain and Lamech. 

As for examples in civil states, all memory doth 
consent, that Graecia and Rome were the most valiant 
and generous nations of the world ; and, that which 
is more to be noted, they were free estates, and not 
under a monarchy ; whereby a man would think it 
a great deal the more reason that particular persons 
should have righted themselves ; and yet they had 
not this practice of duels, nor any thing that bare 
shew thereof : and sure they would have had it, if 
there had been any virtue in it. Nay, as he saith, 
<f Fas est et ab hoste doceri." It is memorable, that 
is reported by a counsellor ambassador of the 
emperor s, touching the censure of the Turks of these 
duels : there was a combat of this kind performed by 
two persons of quality of the Turks, wherein one of 
them was slain, the other party was conrented be 
fore the council of bashaws ; the manner of the 
reprehension was in these words : " How durst you 
" undertake to fight one with the other ? Are there 
" not Christians enough to kill? Did you not know 
" that whether of you shall be slain, the loss would 
" be the Great Seignior s ?" So as we may see that 
the most warlike nations, whether generous or bar- 


barous, have ever despised this wherein now men 


It is true, my lords, that I find combats of two 
natures authorized, how justly I will not dispute as 
to the latter of them. 

The one, when upon the approaches of armies in 
the face one of the other, particular persons have 
made challenges for trial of valours in the field upon 
the public quarrel. 

This the Romans called " Pugna per provoca- 
" tionem." And this was never, but either between 
the generals themselves, who are absolute, or 
between particulars by licence of the generals ; never 
upon private authority. So you see David asked 
leave when he fought with Goliah ; and Joab, when 
the armies were met, gave leave, and said, " Let the 
" young men play before us." And of this kind was 
that famous example in the wars of Naples, between 
twelve Spaniards and twelve Italians, where the Ita 
lians bare away the victory ; besides other infinite 
like examples worthy and laudable, sometimes by 
singles, sometimes by numbers. 

The second combat is a judicial trial of right, 
where the right is obscure, introduced by the Goths 
and the Northern nations, but more anciently enter 
tained in Spain ; and this yet remains in some cases 
as a divine lot of battle, though controverted by di 
vines, touching the lawfulness of it: so that a wise 
writer saith, " Taliter pugnantes videntur tentare 
" Deum, quia hoc volunt ut Deus ostendat et faciat 
" miraculum, utjustam causam habens victor efficia- 


" tur, quod ssepc contra accidit." But howsoever it 
be, this kind of fight taketh its warrant from law. 
Nay, the French themselves, whence this folly seem- 
eth chiefly to have flown, never had it but only in 
practice and toleration, and never as authorized by 
law ; and yet now of late they have been fain to 
purge their folly with extreme rigour, in so much as 
many gentlemen left between death and life in the 
duels, as I spake before, were hastened to hanging 
with their wounds bleeding. For the state found it 
had been neglected so long, as nothing could be 
thought cruelty which tended to the putting of it 

As for the second defect pretended in our law, 
that it hath provided no remedy for lies and fillips, 
it may receive like answer. It would have been 
thought a madness amongst the ancient lawgivers, 
to have set a punishment upon the lie given, which 
in effect is but a word of denial, a negative of an 
other s saying. Any lawgiver, if he had been asked 
the question, would have made Solon s answer : that 
he had not ordained any punishment for it, because 
he never imagined the world would have been so 
fantastical as to take it so highly. The civilians, 
they dispute whether an action of injury lie for it, 
and rather resolve the contrary. And Francis the 
First of France, who first set on and stamped this 
disgrace so deep, is taxed by the judgment of all 
wise writers for beginning the vanity of it ; for it 
was he, that when he had himself given the lie and 
defy to the emperor, to make it current in the 


world, said in a solemn assembly, " That he was no 
" honest man that would bear the lie :" which was 
the fountain of this new learning. 

As for words of reproach and contumely, whereof 
the lie was esteemed none, it is not credible, but 
that the orations themselves are extant, what ex 
treme and exquisite reproaches were tossed up and 
down in the senate of Rome and the places of assem 
bly, and the like in Graecia, and yet no man took 
himself fouled by them, but took them but for 
breath, and the style of an enemy, and either des 
pised them or returned them, but no blood spilt 
about them. 

So of every touch or light blow of the person, 
they are not in themselves considerable, save that 
they have got upon them the stamp of a disgrace, 
which maketh these light things pass for great mat 
ter. The law of England, and all laws, hold these 
degrees of injury to the person, slander, battery, 
maim, and death; and if there be extraordinary 
circumstances of despite and contumely, as in case of 
libels, and bastinadoes, and the like, this court taketh 
them in hand, and punisheth them exemplarily. But 
for this apprehension of a disgrace, that a fillip to 
the person should be a mortal wound to the reputa 
tion, it were good that men did hearken unto the 
saying of Consalvo, the great and famous comman 
der, that was wont to say, a gentleman s honour 
should be " de tela crassiore," of a good strong warp 
or web, that every little thing should not catch in it; 
when as now it seems they are but of cob-web lawn, 


or such light stuff, which certainly is weakness, and 
not true greatness of mind, but like a sick man s 
body, that is so tender that it feels every thing. 
And so much in maintenance and demonstration of 
the wisdom and justice of the law of the land. 

For the capacity of this court, I take this to be 
a ground infallible : that wheresoever an offence is 
capital, or matter of felony, though it be not acted, 
there the combination or practice tending to that 
offence is punishable in this court as a high misde 
meanor. So practice to impoison, though it took no 
effect; way-laying to murder, though it took no 
effect, and the like ; have been adjudged heinous 
misdemeanors punishable in this court. Nay, incep 
tions and preparations in inferior crimes, that are not 
capital, as suborning and preparing of witnesses that 
were never deposed, or deposed nothing material, 
have likewise been censured in this court, as ap- 
peareth by the decree in Garnon s case. 

Why then, the major proposition being such, the 
minor cannot be denied : for every appointment of 
the field is but combination and plotting of murder; 
let them gild it how they list, they shall never have 
fairer terms of me in place of justice. Then the con 
clusion followeth, that it is a case fit for the censure 
of the court. And of this there be precedents in the 
very point of challenge. 

It was the case of Wharton plaintiff, against 
Ellekar and Acklam defendants, where Acklam be 
ing a follower of Ellekar s, was censured for carry 
ing a challenge from Ellekar to Wharton, though 


the challenge was not put in writing, but delivered 
only by word of message ; and there are words in 
the decree, that such challenges are to the subver 
sion of government. 

These things are well known, and therefore I 
needed not so much to have insisted upon them, but 
that in this case I would be thought not to innovate 
any thing of my own head, but to follow the former 
precedents of the court, though I mean to do it more 
throughly, because the time requires it more. 

Therefore now to come to that which concerneth 
my part ; I say, that by the favour of the king and 
the court, I will prosecute in this court in the cases 

If any man shall appoint the field, though the 
fight be not acted or performed. 

If any man shall send any challenge in writing, 
or any message of challenge. 

If any man carry or deliver any writing or mes 
sage of challenge. 

If any man shall accept or return a challenge. 

If any man shall accept to be a second in a chal 
lenge of either side. 

If any man shall depart the realm, with inten 
tion and agreement to perform the fight beyond the 

If any man shall revive a quarrel by any scan 
dalous bruits or writings, contrary to a former pro 
clamation published by his majesty in that behalf. 

Nay, I hear there be some counsel learned of 
duels, that tell young men when they are before- 


hand, and when they are otherwise, and thereby 
incense and incite them to the duel, and make an 
art of it ; I hope I shall meet with some of them 
too : and I am sure, my lords, this course of pre 
venting duels in nipping them in the bud, is fuller 
of clemency and providence than the suffering them 
to go on, and hanging men with their wounds bleed 
ing, as they did in France. 

To conclude, I have some petitions to make first 
to your lordship, my lord chancellor, that in case I 
be advertised of a purpose in any to go beyond the 
sea to fight, I may have granted his majesty s Writ 
of " Ne exeat regnum" to stop him, for this giant 
bestrideth the sea, and I would take and snare him 
by the foot on this side ; for the combination and 
plotting is on this side, though it should be acted 
beyond sea. And your lordship said notably the last 
time I made a motion in this business, that a man may 
be as well " fur de se," as (e felo de se," if he steal out 
of the realm for a bad purpose ; as for the satisfying 
of the words of the writ, no man will doubt but he 
doth " machinari contra coronam ," as the words of 
the writ be, that seeketh to murder a subject ; for 
that is ever " contra coronam et dignitatem." I have 
also a suit to your lordships all in general, that for 
justice sake, and for true honour s sake, honour of 
religion, law, and the king our master, against this 
fond and false disguise or puppetry of honour, I may 
in my prosecution, which it is like enough, may 
sometimes stir coals, which I esteem not for my par 
ticular, but as it may hinder the good service, I 


may, I say, be countenanced and assisted from your 
lordships. Lastly, I have a petition to the nobles 
and gentlemen of England, that they would learn 
to esteem themselves at a just price. " Non hos 
" quaesitum munus in usus," their blood is not to be 
spilt like water or a vile thing ; therefore that they 
would rest persuaded there cannot be a form of ho 
nour, except it be upon a worthy matter. But for 
this, " ipsi viderint," I am resolved. And thus much 
for the general, now to the present case. 





George Lord Archbishop of Edward Lord Wotton, Comp 

Thomas Lord Ellesmere, Lord 
Chancellor of England. 

Henry Earl of Northampton, 
Lord Privy Seal. 

Charles Earl of Nottingham, 
Lord High Admiral of Eng 

Thomas E. of Suffolk, Lord 

John Lord Bishop of London. 

Edward Lord Zouch. 

William Lord Knolles, Trea 
surer of the Household. 


John Lord Stanhope, Vice- 

Sir Edward Coke, Knight 
Lord Chief Justice of Eng 

Sir Henry Hobart, Knight, 
Lord Chief Justice of the 

Sir Julius Csesar, Knight, 
Chancellor of the Exche 

THIS day was heard and debated at large the several 
matters of informations here exhibited by Sir Fran 
cis Bacon, knight, his majesty s attorney-general, the 
one against William Priest, gentleman, for writing 
and sending a letter of challenge, together with a 
stick, which should be the length of the weapon : 
and the other against Richard Wright, esquire, for 
carrying and delivering the said letter and stick unto 


the party challenged, and for other contemptuous 
and insolent behaviour used before the justices of 
the peace in Surry at their sessions, before whom 
he was convented. Upon the opening of which 
cause, his highness s said attorney-general did first 
give his reason to the court, why, in a case which he 
intended should be a leading case for the repressing 
of so great a mischief in the commonwealth, and 
concerning an offence which reigneth chiefly amongst 
persons of honour and quality, he should begin with 
a cause which had passed between so mean persons 
as the defendants seemed to be ; which he said was 
done, because he found this cause ready published, 
and in so growing an evil, he thought good to lose 
no time ; whereunto he added, that it was not amiss 
sometimes to beat the dog before the lion ; saying 
farther, that he thought it would be some motive for 
persons of high birth and countenance to leave it, 
when they saw it was taken up by base and mecha 
nical fellows ; l)ut concluded, that he resolved to 
proceed without respect of persons for the time to 
come, and for the present to supply the meanness 
of this particular case by insisting the longer upon 
the general point. 

Wherein he did first express unto the court at 
large the greatness and dangerous consequence of 
this presumptuous offence, which extorted revenge 
out of the magistrate s hands, and gave boldness to 
private men to be lawgivers to themselves ; the ra 
ther because it is an offence that doth justify itself 
against the law, and plainly gives the law an affront; 


describing also the miserable effect which it draweth 
upon private families, by cutting off young men, 
otherwise of good hope ; and chiefly the loss of the 
king and the common-wealth, by the casting away 
of much good blood 3 which, being spent in the field 
upon occasion of service, were able to continue the 
renown which this kingdom hath obtained in all 
ages of being esteemed victorious. 

Secondly, his majesty s said attorney-general did 
discourse touching the causes and remedies of this 
mischief that prevailed so in these times ; shewing 
the ground thereof to be a false and erroneous ima 
gination of honour and credit, according to the term 
which was given to those duels by a former procla 
mation of his majesty s, which called them betwitch- 
ing duels, for that it was no better than a kind of 
sorcery, which enchanteth the spirits of young men, 
which bear great minds, with a shew of honour in 
that which is no honour indeed ; being against re 
ligion, law, moral virtue, and against the prece 
dents and examples of the best times, and valiantest 
nations of the world ; which though they excelled 
for prowess and military virtue in a public quarrel, 
yet know not what these private duels meant ; say 
ing farther, that there was too much way and counte 
nance given unto these duels, by the course that is 
held by noblemen and gentlemen in compounding of 
quarrels, who use to stand too punctually upon con 
ceits of satisfactions and distinctions, what is before 
hand, and what behind-hand, which do but feed the 
humour : adding likewise, that it was no fortitude to 


shew valour in a quarrel, except there were a just 
and worthy ground of the quarrel ; but that it was 
weakness to set a man s life at so mean a rate as to 
bestow it upon trifling occasions, which ought to be 
rather offered up and sacrificed to honourable ser 
vices, public merits, good causes, and noble adven 
tures. And as concerning the remedies, he con 
cluded, that the only way was, that the state would 
declare a constant and settled resolution to master 
and put down this presumption in private men, of 
whatsover degree, of righting their own wrongs, and 
this to do at once ; for that then every particular 
man would think himself acquitted in his reputation, 
when that he shall see that the state takes his honour 
into their own hands, and standeth between him and 
any interest or prejudice, which he might receive in 
his reputation for obeying : whereunto he added like 
wise, that the wisest and mildest way to suppress 
these duels was rather to punish in this court all the 
acts of preparation, which did in any wise tend to 
the duels, as this of challenges and the like, and so 
to prevent the capital punishment, and to vex the 
root in the branches, than to suffer them to run on 
to the execution, and then to punish them capitally 
after the manner of France : where of late times 
gentlemen of great quality that had killed others in 
duel, were carried to the gibbet with their wounds 
bleeding, lest a natural death should keep them 
from the example of justice. 

Thirdly, his majesty s said attorney-general did, 
by many reasons which he brought and alleged, free 


the law of England from certain vain and childish 
exceptions, which are taken by these duellists : the 
one, because the law makes no difference in punish 
ment between an insidious and foul murder, and the 
killing a man upon challenge and fair terms, as they 
call it. The other, for that the law hath not pro 
vided sufficient punishment and reparation for con 
tumely of words, as the lie, and the like ; wherein 
his majesty s said attorney-general did shew, by 
many weighty arguments and examples, that the 
law of England did consent with the law of God 
and the law of nations in both those points, and that 
this distinction in murder between foul and fair, and 
this grounding of mortal quarrels upon uncivil and 
reproachful words, or the like disgraces, was never 
authorised by any law or ancient examples ; but it 
is a late vanity crept in from the practice of the 
French, who themselves since have been so weary of 
it, as they have been forced to put it down with all 

Fourthly, His majesty s said attorney-general did 
prove unto the court by rules of law and precedents, 
that this court hath capacity to punish sending 
and accepting of challenges, though they were never 
acted nor executed ; taking for a ground infallible, 
that wheresoever an offence is capital or matter of 
felony, if it be acted and performed, there the conspi 
racy, combination, or practice tending to the same 
offence, is punishable as a high misdemeanour, al 
though they never were performed. And therefore, 
that practice to impoison, though it took no effect, 



and the like, have been punished in this court ; and 
cited the precedent in Garnon s case, wherein a crime 
of a much inferior nature, the suborning and pre 
paring of witnesses, though they never were deposed, 
or deposed nothing material, was censured in this 
court : whereupon he concluded, that for as much 
as every appointment of the field is in law but a 
combination of plotting of a murder, howsoever men 
might gild it ; that therefore it was a case fit for the 
censure of this court : and therein he vouched a pre 
cedent in the very point, that in a case between 
Wharton plaintiff, and Ellekar and Acklam defend 
ants ; Acklam being a follower of Ellekar, had car 
ried a challenge unto Wharton ; and although it were 
by word of mouth, and not by writing, yet it was 
severely censured by the court ; the decree having 
words that such challenges do tend to the subversion 
of government. And therefore his majesty s attorney 
willed the standers-by to take notice that it was no 
innovation that he brought in, but a proceeding 
according to former precedents of the court, although 
he purposed to follow it more thoroughly than had 
been done ever heretofore, because the times did 
more and more require it. Lastly, his majesty s said 
attorney-general did declare and publish to the court 
in several articles, his purpose and resolution in 
what, cases he did intend to prosecute offences of that 
nature in this court ; that is to say, that if any man 
shall appoint the field, although the fight be not 
acted or performed ; if any man shall send any chal 
lenge in writing or message of challenge ; if any man 


shall carry or deliver any writing or message of chal 
lenge ; if any man shall accept or return a challenge ; 
if any man shall accept to be a second in a chal 
lenge of either part ; if any man shall depart the 
realm with intention and agreement to perform the 
fight beyond the seas ; if any man shall revive a 
quarrel by any scandalous bruits or writings con 
trary to a former proclamation, published by his 
majesty in that behalf; that in all these cases his 
majesty s attorney-general, in discharge of his duty, 
by the favour and assistance of his majesty and the 
court, would bring the offenders, of what state or de 
gree soever, to the justice of this court, leaving the 
lords commissioners martial to the more exact reme 
dies : adding farther, that he heard there were cer 
tain counsel learned of duels, that tell young men 
when they are before-hand, and when they are other 
wise, and did incense and incite them to the duel, 
and made an art of it ; who likewise should not be 
forgotten. And so concluded with two petitions, 
the one in particular to the lord chancellor, that in 
case advertisement were given of a purpose in any 
to go beyond the seas to fight, there might be granted 
his majesty s writ of " Ne exeat regnum" against 
him ; and the other to the lords in general, that he 
might be assisted and countenanced in this service. 
After which opening and declaration of the ge 
neral cause, his majesty s said attorney did proceed 
to set forth the proofs of this particular challenge 
and offence now in hand, and brought to the judg 
ment and censure of this honourable court ; where- 


upon it appeared to this honourable court by the 
confession of the said defendant priest himself, that 
he having received some wrong and disgrace at the 
hands of one Hutchest, did thereupon, in revenge 
thereof, write a letter to the said Hutchest, con 
taining a challenge to fight with him at single 
rapier, which letter the said priest did deliver to the 
said defendant Wright, together with a stick con 
taining the length of the rapier, wherewith the said 
priest meant to perform the fight. Whereupon the 
said Wright did deliver the said letter to the said 
Hutchest and did read the same unto him ; and 
after the reading thereof, did also deliver to the said 
Hutchest the said stick, saying, that the same was 
the length of the weapon mentioned in the said 
letter. But the said Hutchest, dutifully respecting 
the preservation of his majesty s peace, did refuse 
the said challenge, whereby no farther mischief did 
ensue thereupon. 

This honourable court, and all the honourable 
presence this day sitting, upon grave and mature 
deliberation, pondering the quality of these offences, 
they generally approved the speech and observations 
of his majesty s said attorney-general, and highly 
commended his great care and good service in bring 
ing a cause of this nature to public punishment and 
example, and in professing a constant purpose to 
go on in the like course with others : letting him 
know, that he might expect from the court all con 
currence and assistance in so good a work. And 
thereupon the court did by their several opinions 


and sentences declare how much it imported the 
peace and prosperous estate of his majesty and his 
kingdom to nip this practice and offence of duels in 
the head, which now did overspread and grow uni 
versal, even among mean persons, and was not only 
entertained in practice and custom, but was framed 
into a kind of art and precepts : so that, according 
to the saying of the Scripture, " mischief is imagined 
t( like a law." And the court with one consent did 
declare their opinions : That by the ancient law of 
the land, all inceptions, preparations and combina 
tions to execute unlawful acts, though they never 
be performed, as they be not to be punished capi 
tally, except it be in case of treason, and some 
other particular cases of statute law ; so yet they 
are punishable as misdemeanors and contempts : 
and that this court was proper for offences of such a 
nature ; especially in this case, where the bravery 
and insolency of the times are such as the ordinary 
magistrates and justices that are trusted with the 
preservation of the peace, are not able to master 
and repress those offences, which were by the court 
at large set forth, to be not only against the law of 
God, to whom, and his substitutes, all revenge be- 
longeth, as part of his prerogative, but also against 
the oath and duty of every subject unto his majesty, 
for that the subject doth swear unto him by the 
ancient law allegiance of life and member ; whereby 
it is plainly inferred, that the subject hath no dis 
posing power over himself of life and member 
to be spent or ventured according to his own pas- 


sions and fancies, insomuch as the very practice of 
chivalry in justs and tournays, which are but images 
of martial actions,, appear by ancient precedents not 
to be lawful without the king s licence obtained. 
The court also noted, that these private duels or 
combats were of another nature from the combats 
which have been allowed by the law as well of 
this land as of other nations for the trial of rights or 
appeals. For that those combats receive direction 
and authority from the law ; whereas these contrari 
wise spring only from the unbridled humours of 
private men. And as for the pretence of honour, 
the court much misliking the confusion of degrees 
which is grown of late, every man assuming unto 
himself the term and attribute of honour, did utterly 
reject and condemn the opinion that the private 
duel, in any person whatsoever, had any grounds of 
honour ; as well because nothing can be honourable 
that is not lawful, and that it is no magnanimity or 
greatness of mind, but a swelling and tumour of the 
mind, where there faileth a right and sound judg 
ment ; as also for that it was rather justly to be 
esteemed a weakness, and a conscience of small value 
in a man s self to be dejected so with a word or 
trifling disgrace, as to think there is no re-cure of it, 
but by the hazard of life : whereas true honour in 
persons that know their own worth is not of any 
such brittle substance, but of a more strong com 
position. And finally, the court shewing a firm and 
settled resolution to proceed with all severity against 
these duels gave warning to all young noblemen 


and gentlemen, that they should not expect the like 
connivance or toleration as formerly have been, but 
that justice should have a full passage without pro 
tection or interruption. Adding, that after a strait 
inhibition, whosoever should attempt a challenge or 
combat, in case where the other party was restrained 
to answer him, as now all good subjects are, did by 
their own principles receive the dishonour and dis 
grace upon himself. 

And for the present cause, the court hath ordered, 
adjudged, and decreed, that the said William Priest 
and Richard Wright be committed to the prison of 
the Fleet, and the said Priest to pay five hundred 
pounds, and the said Wright five hundred marks, 
for their several fines to his majesty s use. And to 
the end, that some more public example may be 
made hereof amongst his majesty s people, the court 
hath further ordered and decreed, that the said 
Priest and Wright shall at the next assizes, to be 
holden in the county of Surry, publicly, in face of 
the court, the judges sitting, acknowledge their 
high contempt and offence against God, his majesty, 
and his laws, and shew themselves penitent for the 

Moreover, the wisdom of this high and honour 
able court thought it meet and necessary that all 
sorts of his majesty s subjects should understand and 
take notice of that which hath been said and handled 
this day touching this matter, as well by his high- 
ness s attorney-general, as by the lords judges, 


touching the law in such cases. And therefore the 
court hath enjoined Mr. Attorney to have special 
care to the penning of this decree, for the setting 
forth in the same summarily the matters and reasons, 
which have been opened and delivered by the court 
touching the same ; and nevertheless also at some 
time convenient to publish the particulars of his 
speech and declaration, as very meet and worthy to 
be remembered and made known unto the world, as 
these times are. And this decree, being in such sort 
carefully drawn and penned, the whole court thought 
it meet, and so have ordered and decreed, that the 
same be not only read and published at the next 
assizes for Surry at such time as the said Priest and 
Wright are to acknowledge their offences as afore 
said ; but that the same be likewise published and 
made known in all shires of this kingdom. And to 
that end the justices of assize are required by this 
honourable court to cause this decree to be solemnly 
read and published in all the places and sittings of 
their several circuits, and in the greatest assembly ; 
to the end, that all his majesty s subjects may take 
knowledge and understand the opinion of this ho 
nourable court in this case, and in what measure his 
majesty and this honourable court purposeth to 
punish such as shall fall into the like contempt and 
offences hereafter. Lastly, this honourable court 
much approving that which the right honourable 
Sir Edward Coke, knight, lord chief justice of Eng 
land, did now deliver touching the law in this case 


of duels, hath enjoined his lordship to report the 
same in print, as he hath formerly done divers other 
cases, that such as understand not the law in that 
behalf, and all others, may better direct themselves, 
and prevent the danger thereof hereafter. 







I SHALL inform you " ore terms," against this gentle 
man Mr. I. S. a gentleman, as it seems, of an ancient 
house and name ; but, for the present, I can think 
of him by no other name, than the name of a great 
offender. The nature and quality of his offence, in 
sum, is this : This gentleman hath, upon advice, not 
suddenly by his pen, nor by the slip of his tongue ; 
not privately, or in a corner, but publicly, as it were, 
to the face of the king s ministers and justices, 
slandered and traduced the king our sovereign, the 
law of the land, the parliament, and infinite par 
ticulars of his majesty s worthy and loving subjects. 
Nay, the slander is of that nature, that it may seem 
to interest the people in grief and discontent against 
the state ; whence might have ensued matter of 
murmur and sedition. So that it is not a simple 
slander, but a seditious slander, like to that the poet 


speaketh of ft Calamosque armare veneno." A ve 
nomous dart that hath both iron and poison. 

To open to your lordships the true state of this 
offence, I will set before you, first, the occasion 
whereupon Mr. I. S. wrought : then the offence 
itself in his own words : and lastly, the points of his 

My lords, you may remember that there was the 
last parliament an expectation to have had the king 
supplied with treasure, although the event failed. 
Herein it is not fit for me to give opinion of an 
house of parliament, but I will give testimony of 
truth in all places. I served in the lower house, and 
I observed somewhat. This I do affirm, that I never 
could perceive but that there was in that house a 
general disposition to give, and to give largely. 
The clocks in the house perchance might differ ; 
some went too fast, some went too slow ; but the 
disposition to give was general : so I think I may 
truly say, " solo tempore lapsus amor." 

This accident happening thus beside expectation, 
it stirred up and awaked in divers of his majesty s 
worthy servants and subjects of the clergy, the 
nobility, the court, and others here near at hand, an 
affection loving and cheerful, to present the king 
some with plate, some with money, as free-will 
offerings, a thing that God Almighty loves, a cheerful 
giver : what an evil eye doth I know not. And, my 
lords, let me speak it plainly unto you : God forbid 
any body should be so wretched as to think that 
the obligation of love and duty, from the subject to 


the king, should be joint and not several. No, my 
lords, it is both. The subject petitioneth to the 
king in parliament. He petitioneth likewise out of 
parliament. The king on the other side gives graces 
to the subject in parliament : he gives them like 
wise, and poureth them upon his people out of par 
liament; and so no doubt the subject may give to 
the king in parliament, and out of parliament. It 
is true the parliament is " intercursus magnus," the 
great intercourse and main current of graces and 
donatives from the king to the people, from the 
people to the king : but parliaments are held but at 
certain times ; whereas the passages are always open 
for particulars ; even as you see great rivers have 
their tides, but particular springs and fountains run 

To proceed therefore : As the occasion, which 
was the failing of supply by parliament, did awake 
the love and benevolence of those that were at hand 
to give ; so it was apprehended and thought fit by 
my lords of the council to make a proof whether the 
occasion and example both, would not awake those 
in the country of the better sort to follow. Where 
upon, their lordships devised and directed letters 
unto the sheriffs and justices, which declared what 
was done here above, and wished that the country 
might be moved, especially men of value. 

Now, my lords, I beseech you give me favour 
and attention to set forth and observe unto you five 
points : I will number them, because other men may 
note them ; and I will but touch them, because they 


shall not be drowned or lost in discourse, which I 
hold worthy the observation, for the honour of the 
state and confusion of slanderers ; whereby it will 
appear most evidently what care was taken, that that 
which was then done might not have the effect, no 
nor the shew, no nor so much as the shadow of a 
tax ; and that it was so far from breeding or bring 
ing in any ill precedent or example, as contrariwise 
it is a corrective that doth correct and allay the 
harshness and danger of former examples. 

The first is, that what was done was done imme 
diately after such a parliament, as made general 
profession to give, and was interrupted by accident : 
so as you may truly and justly esteem it, " tanquam 
" posthuma proles parliament!," as an after-child of 
the parliament, and in pursuit, in some small mea 
sure, of the firm intent of a parliament past. You 
may take it also, if you will, as an advance or pro 
visional help until a future parliament ; or as a gra 
tification simply without any relation to a parliament; 
you can no ways take it amiss. 

The second is, that it wrought upon example, as 
a thing not devised or projected, or required ; no 
nor so much as recommended, until many that were 
never moved nor dealt with, " ex mero motu," had 
freely and frankly sent in their presents. So that 
the letters were rather like letters of news, what 
was done at London, than otherwise : and we know 
" exempla ducunt, non trahunt :" examples they do 
but lead, they do not draw nor drive. 

The third is, that it was not done by commission 


under the great seal ; a thing warranted by a mul 
titude of precedents, both ancient, and of late time, 
as you shall hear anon, and no doubt warranted by 
law : so that the commissions be of that style and 
tenour, as that they be to move and not to levy : 
but this was done by letters of the council, and no 
higher hand or form 

The fourth is, that these letters had no manner 
of shew of any binding act of state : for they contain 
not any special frame or direction how the business 
should be managed ; but were written as upon 
trust, leaving the matter wholly to the industry and 
confidence of those in the country ; so that it was an 
" absque compute ;" such a form of letters as no 
man could fitly be called to account upon. 

The fifth and last point is, that the whole car 
riage of the business had no circumstance compul 
sory. There was no proportion or rate set down, 
not so much as by way of a wish ; there was no me 
nace of any that should deny ; no reproof of any 
that did deny ; no certifying of the names of any 
that had denied. Indeed, if men could not content 
themselves to deny, but that they must censure and 
inveigh, nor to excuse themselves, but they must ac 
cuse the state, that is another case. But I say, for 
denying, no man was apprehended, no nor noted. So 
that I verily think, that there is none so subtle a dis- 
puter in the controversy of " liberum arbitrium," that 
can with all his distinctions fasten or carp upon the 
act, but that there was free-will in it. 

I conclude therefore, my lords, that this was a 


true and pure benevolence ; not an imposition called 
a benevolence ; which the statute speaks of ; as you 
shall hear by one of my fellows. There is a great 
difference, I tell you, though Pilate would not see it, 
between " Rex Judaeorum" and (f se dicens Ilegem 
" Judseorum." And there is a great difference be 
tween a benevolence and an exaction called a bene 
volence, which the duke of Buckingham speaks of in 
his oration to the city ; and defineth it to be not what 
the subject of his good-will would give, but what the 
King of his good-will would take. But this, I say, was 
a benevolence wherein every man had a prince s prero 
gative, a negative voice ; and this word, " excuse 
" moy," was a plea peremptory. And therefore I do 
wonder how Mr. I. S. could foul or trouble so clear 
a fountain ; certainly it was but his own bitterness 
and unsound humours. 

Now to the particular charge : Amongst other 
countries, these letters of the lords came to the jus 
tices of D shire, who signified the contents thereof, 
and gave directions and appointments for meetings 
concerning the business, to several towns and places 
within that county : and amongst the rest, notice was 
given unto the town of A. The mayor of A conceiv 
ing that this Mr. I. S. being a principal person, and 
a dweller in that town, was a man likely to give 
both money and good example, dealt with him to 
know his mind : he intending, as it seems, to play 
prizes, would give no answer to the mayor in pri 
vate, but would take time. The next day then being 
an appointment of the justices to meet, he takes 


occasion, or pretends occasion to be absent, because 
he would bring his papers upon the stage : and 
thereupon takes pen in hand, and, instead of excus 
ing himself, sits down and contriveth a seditious and 
libellous accusation against the king and state, which 
your lordships shall now hear, and sends it to the 
mayor : and withal, because the feather of his quill 
might fly abroad, he gives authority to the mayor to 
impart it to the justices, if he so thought good. And 
now, my lords, because I will not mistake or mis- 
repeat, you shall hear the seditious libel in the proper 
terms and words thereof. 

(Here the papers were read.) 

MY lords, I know this paper offends your ears 
much, and the ears of any good subject ; and sorry 
I am that the times should produce offences of this 
nature : but since they do, I would be more sorry 
they should be passed without severe punishment : 
" Non tradite factum," as the verse says, altered a 
little, " aut si traditis, facti quoque tradite poenam." 
If any man have a mind to discourse of the fact, let 
him likewise discourse of the punishment of the fact. 

In this writing, my lords, there appears a mon 
ster with four heads, of the progeny of him that 
is the lather of lies, and takes his name from 

The first is a wicked and seditious slander; or, if 
I shall use the Scripture phrase, a blaspheming of 
the king himself; setting him forth for a Prince per 
jured in the great and solemn oath of his corona 
tion, which is as it were the knot of the diadem ; a 


prince that should be a violator and infringer of the 
liberties, laws, and customs of the kingdom ; a mark 
for an Henry the Fourth ; a match for a Richard the 

The second is a slander and falsification, and 
wresting of the law of the land gross and palpable : 
it is truly said by a civilian, t( Tortura legum pes- 
" sima," the torture of laws is worse than the torture 
of men. 

The third is a slander and false charge of the par 
liament, that they had denied to give to the king ; a 
point of notorious untruth. 

And the last is a slander and taunting of an infi 
nite number of the king s loving subjects, that have 
given towards this benevolence and free contribu 
tion ; charging them as accessary and co-adjutors 
to the king s perjury. Nay, you leave us not there, 
but you take upon you a pontifical habit, and couple 
your slander with a curse ; but thanks be to God we 
have learned sufficiently out of the Scripture, that 
" as the bird flies away, so the causeless curse shall 
" not come." 

For the first of these, which concerns the king, 
I have taken to myself the opening and aggravation 
thereof; the other three I have distributed to my 

My lords, I cannot but enter into this part with 
some wonder and astonishment, how it should come 
into the heart of a subject of England to vapour 
forth such a wicked and venomous slander against 
the king, whose goodness and grace is comparable, if 

VOL. vi. J > 


not incomparable, unto any of the kings his progeni 
tors. This therefore gives me a just and necessary 
occasion to do two things : The one, to make some 
representation of his Majesty ; such as truly he is 
found to be in his government, which Mr. I. S. 
chargeth with violation of laws and liberties : The 
other, to search and open the depth of Mr. I. S. 
his offence. Both which I will do briefly ; because 
the one, I cannot express sufficiently ; and the other, 
I will not press too far. 

My lords, I mean to make no panegyric or lau 
dative ; the king delights not in it, neither am I fit 
for it : but if it were but a counsellor or nobleman, 
whose name had suffered, and were to receive some 
kind of reparation in this high court, I would do him 
that duty as not to pass his merits and just attributes, 
especially such as are limited with the present case, 
in silence : for it is fit to burn incense where evil 
odours have been cast and raised. Is it so that king 
James shall be said to be a violator of the liber 
ties, laws, and customs of his kingdoms ? Or is he 
not rather a noble and constant protector and con 
servator of them all ? I conceive this consisteth in 
maintaining religion and the true Church ; in main 
taining the laws of the kingdom, which is the 
subject s birth-right : in temperate use of the prero 
gative ; in due and free administration of justice, 
and conservation of the peace of the land. 

For religion, we must ever acknowlege in the 
first place, that we have a king that is the principal 
conservator of true religion through the Christian 


world. He hath maintained it not only with sceptre 
and sword, but likewise by his pen ; wherein also he 
is potent. 

He hath awaked and re-authorized the whole 
party of the reformed religion throughout Europe ; 
which through the insolency and divers artifices and 
inchantments of the adverse part, was grown a little 
dull and dejected: He hath summoned the fraternity 
of kings to enfranchise themselves from the usurpa 
tion of the See of Rome : He hath made himself a 
mark of contradiction for it. 

Neither can I omit, when I speak of religion, to 
remember that excellent act of his Majesty, which 
though it were done in a foreign country, yet the 
Church of God is one, and the contagion of these 
things will soon pass seas and lands : I mean, in his 
constant and holy proceeding against the heretic 
Vorstius, whom, being ready to enter into the chair, 
and there to have authorised one of the most pesti 
lent and heathenish heresies that ever was begun, his 
Majesty by his constant opposition dismounted and 
pulled down. And I am persuaded there sits in this 
court one whom God doth the rather bless for being 
his Majesty s instrument in that service. 

I cannot remember religion and the church, but 
I must think of the seed-plots of the same, which 
are the universities. His Majesty, as for learning 
amongst kings, he is incomparable in his person ; so 
likewise hath he been in his government a benign 
or benevolent planet towards learning: by whose 
influence those nurseries and gardens of learning, 


the universities, were never more in flower nor 


For the maintaining of the laws, which is the 
hedge and fence about the liberty of the subject, I 
may truly affirm it was never in better repair. He 
doth concur with the votes of the nobles ; " Nolu- 
" mus leges Anglias mutare." He is an enemy of 
innovation. Neither doth the universality of his own 
knowledge carry him to neglect or pass over the very 
forms of the laws of the land. Neither was there 
ever king, I am persuaded, that did consult so oft 
with his judges, as my lords that sit here know well. 
The judges are a kind of council -of the king s by 
oath and ancient institution ; but he useth them so 
indeed : he confers regularly with them upon their 
returns from their visitations and circuits : he gives 
them liberty, both to inform him, and to debate 
matters with him ; and in the fall and conclusion 
commonly relies on their opinions. 

As for the use of the prerogative, it runs with 
in the ancient channels and banks : some things 
that were conceived to be in some proclamations, 
commissions, and patents, as overflows, have been 
by his wisdom and care reduced ; whereby, no doubt, 
the main channel of his prerogative is so much the 
stronger. For evermore overflows do hurt the 

As for administration of justice between party 
and party, I pray observe these points. There is no 
news of great seal or signet that flies abroad for 
countenance or delay of causes ; protections rarely 


granted, and only upon great ground, or by con 
sent. My lords here of the council and the king 
himself meddle not, as hath been used in former 
times, with matters of " meum" and " tuum," except 
they have apparent mixture with matters of estate, 
but leave them to the king s courts of law or equity. 
And for mercy and grace, without which there is no 
standing before justice, we see, the king now hath 
reigned twelve years in his white robe, without al 
most any aspersion of the crimson dye of blood. 
There sits my lord Hobart, that served attorney seven 
years. I served with him. We were so happy, as 
there passed not through our hands any one arraign 
ment for treason ; and but one for any capital 
offence, which was that of the lord Sanquhar ; the 
noblest piece of justice, one of them, that ever came 
forth in any king s time. 

As for penal laws, which lie as snares upon the 
subjects, and which were as a " nemo scit" to king- 
Henry VII. ; it yields a revenue that will scarce 
pay for the parchment of the king s records at West 

And lastly for peace, we see manifestly his ma 
jesty bears some resemblance of that great name, 
" a prince of peace :" he hath preserved his subjects 
during his reign in peace, both within and without. 
For the peace with states abroad, we have it " usque 
" ad satietatem :" and for peace in the lawyers 
phrase, which count trespasses, and forces, and riots, 
to be " contra pacem ;" let me give your lordships 
this token or taste, that this court, where they should 


appear, had never less to do. And certainly there 
is no better sign of omnia bene," than when this 
court is in a still. 

But, my lords, this is a sea of matter : and there 
fore I must give it over, and conclude, that there 
was never king reigned in this nation that did bet 
ter keep covenant in preserving the liberties and 
procuring the good of his people : so that I must 
needs say for the subjects of England, 

" O fortunatos nimium sua si boni norint;" 

as no doubt they do both know and acknowledge it; 
whatsoever a few turbulent discourses may, through 
the lenity of the time, take boldness to speak. 

And as for this particular, touching the benevo 
lence, wherein Mr. I. S. doth assign this breach of 
covenant, I leave it to others to tell you what the 
king may do, or what other kings have done ; but I 
have told you what our king and my lords have done : 
which, I say and say again, is so far from introducing 
a new precedent, as it doth rather correct, and mol 
lify, and qualify former precedents. 

Now, Mr. I. S. let me tell you your fault in few 
words : for that I am persuaded you see it already, 
though I woo no man s repentance ; but I shall, as 
much as in me is, cherish it where I find it. Your 
offence hath three parts knit together : 

Your slander, 

Your menace, and 

Your comparison. 

For your slander, it is no less than that the king 


is perjured in his coronation oath. No greater of 
fence than perjury ; no greater oath than that of a 
coronation. I leave it ; it is too great to aggravate. 

Your menace, that if there were a Bullingbroke, 
or I cannot tell what, there were matter for him, is 
a very seditious passage. You know well, that how 
soever Henry the Fourth s act, by a secret provi 
dence of God, prevailed, yet it was but an usurpa 
tion ; and if it were possible for such a one to be 
this day, wherewith it seems your dreams are troubled, 
I do not doubt, his end would be upon the block ; 
and that he would sooner have the ravens sit upon 
his head at London bridge, than the crown at West 
minster. And it is not your interlacing of your 
" God forbid," that will salve these seditious 
speeches : neither could it be a forewarning, because 
the matter was past and not revocable, but a very 
stirring up and incensing of the people. If I should 
say to you, for example, " If these times were like 
" some former times, of king Henry VIII. or some 
" other times, which God forbid, Mr. I. S. it would 
" cost you your life ;" I am sure you would not 
think this to be a gentle warning, but rather that 
I incensed the court against you. 

And for your comparison with Richard II. I see, 
you follow the example of them that brought him 
upon the stage, and into print, in queen Elizabeth s 
time, a most prudent and admirable queen. But let 
me intreat you, that when you will speak of queen 
Elizabeth or king James, you would compare them 
to king Henry VII. or king Edward I. or some other 


parallels to which they are alike. And this I would 
wish both you and all to take heed of, how you 
speak seditious matter in parables, or by tropes or 
examples. There is a thing in an indictment called 
an inuendo ; you must beware how you beckon or 
make signs upon the king in a dangerous sense : but 
I will contain myself and press this no farther. I may 
hold you for turbulent or presumptuous ; but I hope 
you are not disloyal : you are graciously and merci 
fully dealt with. And therefore having now opened 
to my lords, and, as I think, to your own heart and 
conscience, the principal part of your offence, which 
concerns the king, I leave the rest, which concerns 
the law, parliament, and the subjects that have given, 
to Mr. Serjeant and Mr. Solicitor. 




THE offence wherewith I shall charge the three of 
fenders at the bar, is a misdemeanour of a high na 
ture, tending to the defacing and scandal of justice 
in a great cause capital. The particular charge is 

The king amongst many his princely virtues is 
known to excel in that proper virtue of the imperial 
throne, which is justice. It is a royal virtue, which 
doth employ the other three cardinal virtues in her 
service : wisdom to discover, and discern nocent or 
innocent ; fortitude to prosecute and execute; tem 
perance, so to carry justice as it be not passionate in 
the pursuit, nor confused in involving persons upon 
light suspicion, nor precipitate in time. For this 
his Majesty s virtue of justice, God hath of late raised 
an occasion, and erected as it were a stage or theatre, 
much to his honour, for him to shew it, and act in 
the pursuit of the untimely death of Sir Thomas 


Overbury, and therein cleansing the land from blood. 
For, my lords, if blood spilt pure doth cry to hea 
ven in God s ears, much more blood defiled with 

This great work of his majesty s justice, the more 
excellent it is, your lordships will soon conclude the 
greater is the offence of any that have sought to af 
front it or traduce it. And therefore, before 1 des 
cend unto the charge of these offenders, I will set 
before your lordships the weight of that which they 
have sought to impeach; speaking somewhat of the 
general crime of impoisonment, and then of the par 
ticular circumstances of this fact upon Overbury ; 
and thirdly and chiefly, of the king s great and wor 
thy care and carriage in this business. 

The offence of impoisonment is most truly figured 
in that device or description, which was made of the 
nature of one of the Roman tyrants, that he was 
" lutum sanguine maceratum," mire mingled or ce 
mented with blood : for as it is one of the highest 
offences in guiltiness, so it is the basest of all others 
in the mind of the offenders. Treasons " magnum 
" aliquid spectant :" they aim at great things ; but 
this is vile and base. I tell your lordships what I have 
noted, that in all God s book, both of the Old and 
New Testament, I find examples of all other offences 
and offenders in the world, but not any one of an 
impoisonment or an impoisoner. I find mention of 
fear of casual impoisonment : when the wild vine 
was shred into the pot, they came complaining in a 
fearful manner ; Master, " mors in olla." And I 


find mention of poisons of beasts and serpents ; * the 
" poison of asps is under their lips." But I find no 
example in the book of God of impoisonment. I 
have sometime thought of the words in the psalm, 
" let their table be made a snare." Which certainly 
is most true of impoisonment ; for the table, the 
daily bread, for which we pray, is turned to a dead 
ly snare : but I think rather that that was meant of 
the treachery of friends that were participant of the 
same table. 

But let us go on. It is an offence, my lords, that 
hath the two spurs of offending ; " spes perficiendi," 
and " spes celandi :" it is easily committed, and easily 

It is an offence that is " tanquam sagitta nocte 
" volans ;" it is the arrow that flies by night. It 
discerns not whom it hits : for many times the poi 
son is laid for one, and the other takes it; as in San- 
ders s case, where the poisoned apple was laid for 
the mother, and was taken up by the child, and 
killed the child : and so in that notorious case, where 
upon the statute of 22 Hen. VI II. cap. 9. was made, 
where the intent being to poison but one or two, 
poison was put into a little vessel of barm that stood 
in the kitchen of the bishop of Rochester s house ; 
of which barm pottage, or gruel was made, where 
with seventeen of the bishop s family were poisoned : 
nay, divers of the poor that came to the bishop s 
gate, and had the broken pottage in alms, were like 
wise poisoned. And therefore if any man will com 
fort himself, or think with himself, Here is great 


talk of impoisonment, I hope I am safe ; for I have 
no enemies ; nor I have nothing that any body should 
long for : Why, that is all one ; for he may sit at 
table by one for whom poison is prepared, and have 
a drench of his cup, or of his pottage. 

And so, as the poet saith, " concidit infelix alieno 
" vulnere ;" he may die another man s death. And 
therefore it was most gravely, and judiciously, and 
properly provided by that statute, that impoison 
ment should be high treason ; because whatsoever 
offence tendeth to the utter subversion and disso 
lution of human society, is in the nature of high 

Lastly, it is an offence that I may truly say of it, 
" non est nostri generis, nee sanguinis." It is, thanks 
be to God, rare in the isle of Britain : it is neither 
of our country, nor of our Church ; you may find it 
in Rome or Italy. There is a region, or perhaps 
a religion for it : and if it should come amongst us, 
certainly it were better living in a wilderness than 
in a court. 

For the particular fact upon Overbury. First, 
for the person of Sir Thomas Overbury : I knew the 
gentleman. It is true, his mind was great, but it 
moved not in any good order ; yet certainly it did 
commonly fly at good things ; and the greatest fault 
that I ever heard of him was, that he made his 
friend his idol. But I leave him as Sir Thomas 

But take him as he was the king s prisoner in 
the Tower; and then see how the case ^tands. In 


that place the state is as it were respondent to 
make good the body of a prisoner. And if any 
thing happen to him there, it may, though not 
in this case, yet in some others, make an asper 
sion and reflection upon the state itself. For the 
person is utterly out of his own defence ; his own 
care and providence can serve him nothing. He is 
in custody and preservation of law ; and we have a 
maxim in our law, as my lords the judges know, 
that when a state is in preservation of law, nothing 
can destroy it, or hurt it. And God forbid but the like 
should be for the persons of those that are in cus 
tody of law ; and therefore this was a circumstance 
of great aggravation. 

Lastly, To have a man chased to death in such 
manner, as it appears now by matter of record ; for 
other privacy of the cause I know not, by poison 
after poison, first roseaker, then arsenick, then mer 
cury sublimate, then sublimate again ; it is a thing 
would astonish man s nature to hear it. The poets 
feign, that the Furies had whips, that they were 
corded with poisonous snakes ; and a man would 
think that this were the very case, to have a man 
tied to a post, and to scourge him to death with 
snakes : for so may truly be termed diversity of 

Now I will come to that which is the principal ; 
that is, his majesty s princely, yea, and as I may 
truly term it, sacred proceeding in this cause. 
Wherein I will speak of the temper of his justice, 
and then of the strength thereof. 


First, it pleased my lord Chief Justice to let me 
know, that which I heard with great comfort, which 
was the charge that his majesty gave to himself first, 
and afterwards to the commissioners in this case, 
worthy certainly to be written in letters of gold, 
wherein his majesty did forerank and make it his 
prime direction, that it should be carried, without 
touch to any that was innocent ; nay more, not only 
without impeachment, but without aspersion : which 
was a most noble and princely caution from his ma 
jesty ; for men s reputations are tender things, and 
ought to be, like Christ s coat, without seam. And 
it was the more to be respected in this case, because 
it met with two great persons ; a nobleman that his 
majesty had favoured and advanced, and his lady 
being of a great and honourable house : though I 
think it be true that the writers say, That there is 
no pomegranate so fair or so sound, but may have 
a perished kernel. Nay, I see plainly, that in those 
excellent papers of his majesty s own hand-writing, 
being as so many beams of justice issuing from that 
virtue which doth shine in him ; I say, I see it was 
so evenly carried without prejudice, whether it were 
a true accusation of the one part, or a practice of a 
false accusation on the other, as shewed plainly that 
his majesty s judgment was " tanquam tabula rasa," 
as a clean pair of tables, and his ear " tanquam janua 
" aperta," as a gate not side open, but wide open to 
truth, as it should be by little and little discovered. 
Nay, I see plainly, that at the first, till farther light 
did break forth, his majesty was little moved with 


the first tale, which he vouchsafeth not so much as 
the name of a tale ; but calleth it a rumour, which 
is an heedless tale. 

As for the strength or resolution of his majesty s 
justice, I must tell your lordships plainly ; I do not 
marvel to see kings thunder out justice in cases of 
treason, when they are touched themselves ; and that 
they are " vindices doloris proprii :" but that a king 
should, "pro amore justitiae" only, contrary to the 
tide of his own affection, for the preservation of his 
people, take such care of a cause of justice, that is 
rare and worthy to be celebrated far and near. For, 
I think, I may truly affirm, that there was never in 
this kingdom, nor in any other kingdom, the blood 
of a private gentleman vindicated " cum tanto motu 
" regni," or to say better, " cum tanto plausu regni." 
If it had concerned the king or prince, there could 
not have been greater nor better commissioners to ex 
amine it. The term hath been almost turned into a 
a justitium/ r or vacancy ; the people themselves being 
more willing to be lookers on in this business, than 
to follow their own. There hath been no care of 
discovery omitted, no moment of time lost. And 
therefore I will conclude this part with the saying of 
Solomon, " Gloria Dei celare rcm, et gloria Regis 
" scrutari rem." And his majesty s honour is much 
the greater for that he hath shewed to the world in 
this business as it hath relation to my lord of Somer 
set, whose case in no sort I do prejudge, being igno 
rant of the secrets of the cause, but taking him as 
the law takes him hitherto, for a subject, I say, the 


king hath to his great honour shewed, that were any 
man, in such a case of blood, as the signet upon his 
right hand, as the Scripture says, yet would he put 
him off. 

Now will I come to the particular charge of 
these gentlemen, whose qualities and persons I re 
spect and love ; for they are all my particular 
friends : but now I can only do this duty of a 
friend to them, to make them know their fault to 
the full. 

And therefore, first, I will by way of narrative 
declare to your lordships the fact, with the occasion 
of it ; then you shall have their confessions read, 
upon which you are to proceed, together with some 
collateral testimonies by way of aggravation : and 
lastly, I will note and observe to your lordships the 
material points which I do insist upon for their 
charge, and so leave them to their answer. And 
this I will do very briefly, for the case is not per 

That wretched man Weston, who was the actor 
or mechanical party in this impoisonment, at the first 
day being indicted by a very substantial jury of se 
lected citizens, to the number of nineteen, who found 
f( billa vera," yet nevertheless at the first stood mute 
but after some days intermission, it pleased God to 
cast out the dumb devil, and that he did put himself 
upon his trial ; and was by a jury also of great 
value, upon his confession, and other testimonies, 
found guilty : so as thirty-one sufficient jurors have 
passed upon him. Whereupon judgment and exe- 


cutioh was awarded against him. After this, being 
in preparation for another world, he sent for Sir 
John Overbury s father, and falling down upon his 
knees, with great remorse and compunction, asked 
him forgiveness. Afterwards, again, of his own mo 
tion, desired to have his like prayer of forgiveness 
recommended to his mother, who was absent. And 
at both times, out of the abundance of his heart, con^ 
fessed that he was to die justly, and that he was 
worthy of death. And after again at his execution, 
which is a kind of sealing-tirne of confessions, 
even at the point of death, although there were 
tempters about him, as you shall hear by and by, 
yet he did again confirm publickly, that his ex 
aminations were true, and that he had been justly 
and honourably dealt with. Here is the narra 
tive, which induceth the charge. The charge itself 
is this. 

Mr. L. whose offence stands alone single, the 
offence of the other two being in consort; and yet 
all three meeting in their end and centre, which was 
to interrupt or deface this excellent piece of justice; 
Mr. L. I say, meanwhile between Weston s standing 
mute and his trial, takes upon him to make a most 
false, odious, and libellous relation, containing as 
many untruths as lines, and sets it down in writing 
with his own hand, and delivers it to Mr. Henry 
Gibb, of the bed-chamber, to be put into the 
king s hand ; in which writing he doth falsify and 
pervert all that was done the first day at the arraign^- 
ment of Weston ; turning the pike and point of his 



imputations principally upon my lord chief justice of 
England ; whose name, thus occurring, I cannot pass 
by, and yet I cannot skill to flatter. But this I will 
say of him, and I would say as much to ages, if I 
should write a story ; that never man s person and 
his place were better met in a business, than my 
lord Coke and my lord chief justice, in. the cause of 

Now, my lords, in this offence of M. L. for the 
particulars of these slanderous articles, I will observe 
them unto you when the writings and examinations 
are read ; for I do not love to set the gloss before 
the text. But, in general I note to your lordships, 
first, the person of M. L. I know he is a Scotch 
gentleman, and thereby more ignorant of our laws 
and forms : but I cannot tell whether this doth ex 
tenuate his fault in respect of ignorance, or aggra 
vate it much, in respect of presumption ; that he 
would meddle in that that he understood not : but I 
doubt it came not out of his quiver : some other 
man s cunning wrought upon this man s boldness. 
Secondly, I may note unto you the greatness 
of the cause, wherein he being a private mean 
gentleman did presume to deal. M. L. could 
not but know to what great and grave commis 
sioners the king had committed this cause ; and that 
his majesty in his wisdom would expect return of all 
things from them to whose trust he had committed 
this business. For it is the part of commissioners, 
as well to report the business, as to manage the 
business; and then his majesty might have been 


sure to have had all things well weighed, and truly 
informed : and therefore it should have been far 
from M. L. to have presumed to have put forth his 
hand to so high and tender a business, which was 
not to be touched but by employed hands. Thirdly, 
I note to your lordships, that this infusion of a 
slander into a king s ear, is of all forms of libels and 
slanders the worst. It is true, that kings may keep 
secret their informations, and then no man ought to 
enquire after them, while they are shrined in their 
breast. But where a king is pleased that a man 
shall answer for his false information ; there, I say, 
the false information to a king exceeds in offence 
the false information of any other kind ; being a 
kind, since we are in a matter of poison, of impoison- 
ment of a king s ear. And thus much for the offence 
of M. L. 

For the offence of S. W. and H. I. which I said 
was in consort, it was shortly this. At the time and 
place of the execution of Weston, to supplant his 
Christian resolution, and to scandalize the justice 
already past, and perhaps to cut off the thread of 
that which is to come, these gentlemen, with others, 
came mounted on horseback, and in a ruffling and 
facing manner put themselves forward to re-examine 
Weston upon questions : and what questions ? Di? 
rectly cross to that that had been tried and judged. 
For what was the point tried ? That Weston had 
poisoned Overbury. What was S. W. s question ? 
Whether Weston did poison Overbury or no ? A 
contradictory directly : Weston answered only, that 


he did him wrong ; and turning to the sheriff, said, 
You promised me I should not be troubled at this 
time. Nevertheless, he pressed him to answer; 
saying he desired to know it, that he might pray 
with him. I know not that S. W. is an ecclesiastic, 
that he should cut any man from the communion of 
prayer. And yet for all this vexing of the spirit of 
a poor man, now in the gates of death ; Weston 
nevertheless stood constant, and said, I die not 
unworthily; my lord chief justice hath my mind 
under my hand, and he is an honourable and just 
judge. This is S. W. his offence. 

For H. I. he was not so much a questionist; but 
wrought upon the others questions, and, like a kind 
of confessor, wished him to discharge his conscience, 
and to satisfy the world. What world ? I marvel ! it 
was sure the world at Tyburn. For the world at 
Guildhall, and the world at London, was satisfied 
before ; " teste" the bells that rung. But men have 
got a fashion now-a-days, that two or three busy- 
bodies will take upon them the name of the world, 
and broach their own conceits, as if it were a general 
opinion. Well, what more ? When they could not 
work upon Weston, then H. I. in an indignation 
turned about his horse, when the other was turning 
over the ladder, and said, he was sorry for such a 
conclusion ; that was, to have the state honoured or 
justified ; but others took and reported his words 
in another degree : but that I leave, seeing it is not 

H. I. his offence had another appendix, before 


this in time ; which was, that at the day of the ver 
dict given up by the jury, he also would needs give 
his verdict, saying openly, that if he were of the 
jury, he would doubt what to do. Marry, he saith, 
he cannot tell well whether he spake this before the 
jury had given up the verdict, or after ; wherein 
there is little gained. For whether H. I. were a 
pre-juror or a post-juror, the one was to prejudge 
the jury, the other as to taint them. 

Of the offence of these two gentlemen in general, 
your lordships must give me leave to say, that it is 
an offence greater and more dangerous than is con. 
ceived. I know well that as we have no Spanish in 
quisitions, nor justice in a corner ; so we have no 
gagging of men s mouths at their death : but that 
they may speak freely at the last hour ; but then it 
must come from the free motion of the party, not by 
temptation of questions. The questions that are to 
be asked ought to tend to farther revealing of their 
own or others guiltiness ; but to use a question in 
the nature of a false interrogatory, to falsify that 
which is " res judicata," is intolerable. For that 
were to erect a court or commission of review at 
Tyburn, against the King s Bench at Westminster. 
And besides, it is a thing vain and idle : for if they 
answer according to the judgment past, it adds no 
credit ; or if it be contrary, it derogateth nothing : 
but yet it subjecteth the majesty of justice to popular 
and vulgar talk and opinion. 

My lords, these are great and dangerous offences 5 


for if we do not maintain justice, justice will not 
maintain us. 

But now your lordships shall hear the examina 
tions themselves, upon which I shall have occasion 
to note some particular things, &e. 






The Lord Sanquhar, a Scotch nobleman, having, in private re 
venge, suborned Robert Carlile to murder John Turner, master 
of fence, thought, by his greatness, to have borne it out ; 
but the king, respecting nothing so much as justice, would not 
suffer nobility to be a shelter for villainy; but, according to 
law, on the 29th of June, 1612, the said Lord Sanquhar, 
having been arraigned and condemned, by the name of Robert 
Creighton, Esq. was before Westminster-hall Gate executed, 

... where he died very penitent. At whose arraignment my Lord 
Bacon, then solicitor-general to King James, made this speech 

IN this cause of life and death, the jury s part is in 
effect discharged ; for after a frank and formal con 
fession, their labour is at an end : so that what hath 
been said by Mr. Attorney, or shall be said by 
myself, is rather convenient than necessary. 

My lord Sanquhar, your fault is great, and 
cannot be extenuated, and it need not be aggravated; 
and if it needed, you have made so full an anatomy of 
it out of your own feeling, as it cannot be matched 
by myself, or any man else, out of conceit ; so as 


that part of aggravation I leave. Nay, more, this 
Christian and penitent course of yours draws me 
thus far. that I will agree, in some sort extenuates 
it: for certainly, as even in extreme evils there 
are degrees ; so this particular of your offence is 
such, as though it be foul spilling of blood, yet there 
are more foul : for if you had sought to take awa y a 
man s life for his vineyard, as Ahab did ; or for envy, as 
Cain did; or to possess his bed, as David did ; surely 
the murder had been more odious. 

Your temptation was revenge, which the more 
natural it is to man, the more have laws both divine 
and human sought to repress it ; " Mihi vindicta." 
But in one thing you and I shall never agree, that 
generous spirits, you say, are hard to forgive : no, 
contrariwise, generous and magnanimous minds are 
readiest to forgive ; and it is a weakness and im- 
potency of mind to be unable to forgive ; 

" Corpora magnanimo satis est prostrasse leoni." 

But howsoever murders may arise from several 
motives, less or more odious, yet the law both of 
God and man involves them in one degree, and 
therefore you may read that in Joab s case, which 
was a murder upon revenge, and matcheth with 
your case ; he for a dear brother, and you for a dear 
part of your own body ; yet there was a severe 
charge given, it should not be unpunished. 

And certainly the circumstance of time is heavy 
upon you : it is now five years ince this unfor 
tunate man Turner, be it upon accident, or .be it 


upon despite, gave the provocation, winch was the 
seed of your malice. All passions are suaged with 
time: love, hatred, grief; all fire itself burns out 
with time, if no new fuel be put to it. Therefore 
for you to have been in the gall of bitterness so long, 
and to have been in a restless chase of this blood so 
many years, is a strange example; and I must tell 
you plainly, that I conceive you have sucked those 
affections of dwelling in malice, rather out of Italy 
and outlandish manners, where you have conversed, 
than out of any part of this island, England pr 

But that which is fittest for me to spend time in^ 
the matter being confessed, is to set forth and mag 
nify to the hearers the justice of this day ; first of 
God, and then of the king. 

My lord, you have friends and entertainments in 
foreign parts ; it had been an easy thing for you to 
set Carlile, or some other bloodhound on work, 
when your person had been beyond the seas ; and 
so this news might have come to you in a packet, 
and you might have looked on how the storm would 
pass : but God bereaved you of this foresight, and 
closed you here under the hand of a king, that 
though abundant in clemency, yet is no less zealous 
of justice. 

Again, when you came in at Lambeth, you might 
have persisted in the denial of the procurement of 
the fact ; Carlile, a resolute man, might perhaps 
have cleared you, for they that are resolute in mis 
chief, are commonly obstinate in concealing the pro- 


curers, and so nothing should have been against you 
but presumption. But then also God, to take away 
all obstruction of justice, gave you the grace, which 
ought indeed to be more true comfort to you, than 
any device whereby you might have escaped, to 
make a clear and plain confession. 

Other impediments there were, not a few, which 
might have been an interruption to this day s justice, 
had not God in his providence removed them. 

But, now that I have given God the honour, let 
me give it likewise where it is next due, which is, to 
the king our sovereign. 

This murder was no sooner committed, and 
brought to his majesty s ears, but his just indig 
nation, wherewith he first was moved, cast itself 
into a great deal of care and providence to have jus 
tice done. First came forth his proclamation, some 
what of a rare form, and devised, and in effect dic 
tated by his majesty himself; and by that he did 
prosecute the offenders, as it were with the breath 
and blast of his mouth. Then did his majesty 
stretch forth his long arms, for kings have long arms 
when they will extend them, one of them to the sea, 
where he took hold of Grey shipped for Sweden, 
who gave the first light of testimony ; the other arm 
to Scotland, and took hold of Carlile, ere he was 
warm in his house, and brought him the length of 
his kingdom under such safe watch and custody, as 
he could have no means to escape, no nor to mischief 
himself, no nor learn any lessons to stand mute ; in 
which cases, perhaps, this day s justice might have 


received a stop. So that I may conclude his majesty 
hath shewed himself God s true lieutenant, and that 
he is no respecter of persons ; but the English, 
Scottish, nobleman > fencer, are to him alike in respect 
of justice. 

Nay, I must say farther* that his majesty hath 
had, in this, a kind of prophetical spirit ; for what 
time Carlile and Grey, and you, my lord, yourself, 
were fled no man knew whither, to the four winds, 
the king ever spake in a confident and undertaking 
manner, that wheresoever the offenders were in 
Europe, he would produce them forth to justice ; of 
which noble word God hath made him master. 

Lastly, I will conclude towards you, my lord, 
that though your offence hath been great, yet your 
confession hath been free, and your behaviour and 
speech full of discretion; and this shews, that though 
you could not resist the tempter, yet you bear a 
Christian and generous mind, answerable to the 
noble family of which you are descended. This I 
commend unto you, and take it to be an assured 
token of God s mercy and favour, in respect whereof 
all worldly things are but trash ; and so it is fit for 
you, as your state now is, to account them. And 
this is all I will say for the present. 

\_Note, The reader, for his fuller information in this 
story of the lord Sanquhar, is desired to peruse 
the case in the ninth book of the lord Coke s Re* 
ports ; at the end of which the whole series of the 
murder and trial is exactly related.] 



THE treason wherewith this man standeth charged, 
is for the kind and nature of it ancient, as ancient as 
there is any law of England ; but in the particular, 
late and upstart : and again, in the manner and 
boldness of the present case, new and almost unheard 
of till this man. Of what mind he is now, I know 
not ; but I take him as he was, and as he standeth 
charged. For high treason is not written in ice ; 
that when the body relenteth, the impression should 
go away. 

In this cause the evidence itself will spend little 
time : time therefore will be best spent in opening 
fully the nature of this treason, with the circum 
stances thereof; because the example is more than 
the man. I think good therefore by way of induce 
ment and declaration in this cause to open unto the 
court, jury, and hearers, five things. 

The first is the clemency of the king ; because it 
is news, and a kind of rarity to have a proceeding in 
this place upon treason : and perhaps it may be 
marvelled by some, why after so long an intermis 
sion it should light upon this fellow ; being a person 


but contemptible, a kind of venomous fly, and a bang- 
by of the seminaries. 

The second is, the nature of this treason, as con 
cerning the fact, which, of all kinds of compassing 
the king s death, I hold to be the most perilous, and 
as much differing from other conspiracies, as the 
lifting up of a thousand hands against the king, like 
the giant Briareus, differs from lifting up one or a 
few hands. 

The third point that I will speak unto is the 
doctrine or opinion, which is the ground of this 
treason ; wherein I will not argue or speak like a 
divine or scholar, but as a man bred in a civil life ; 
and to speak plainly, I hold the opinion to be 
such that deserveth rather detestation than con 

The fourth point is the degree of this man s 
offence, which is more presumptuous than I have 
known any other to have fallen into in this kind, and 
hath a greater overflow of malice and treason. 

And fifthly, I will remove somewhat that may 
seem to qualify and extenuate this man s offence ; in 
that he hath not affirmed simply that it is lawful to 
kill the king, but conditionally ; that if the king be 
excommunicate, it is lawful to kill him : which 
maketh little difference either in law or peril. 

For the king s clemency, I have said it of late 
upon a good occasion, and I still speak it with conx- 
fort : I have now served his majesty s solicitor and 
attorney eight years and better ; yet this is the first 
time that ever I gave in evidence against a traitor at 


this bar or any other. There hath not wanted 
matter in that party of the subjects whence this 
kind of offence floweth, to irritate the king : he hath 
been irritated by the powder of treason, which might 
have turned judgment into fury. He hath been 
irritated by wicked and monstrous libels ; irritated 
by a general insolency and presumption in the Papists 
throughout the land; and yet I see his majesty 
keepeth Caesar s rule : " Nil raalo, quam eos esse 
similes sui, et me mei." He leaveth them to be like 
themselves ; and he remaineth like himself, and 
striveth to overcome evil with goodness. A strange 
thing, bloody opinions, bloody doctrines, bloody ex 
amples, and yet the government still unstained with 
blood. As for this Owen that is brought in question, 
though his person be in his condition contemptible ; 
yet we see by miserable examples, that these wretches 
which are but the scum of the earth, have been able 
to stir earthquakes by murdering princes ; and if it 
were in case of contagion, as this is a contagion of 
the heart and soul, a rascal may bring in a plague 
into the city as well as a great man : so it is not the 
person, but the matter that is to be considered. 

For the treason itself, which is the second point, 
my desire is to open it in the depth thereof, if it 
were possible ; but it is bottomless : I said in the 
beginning, that this treason in the nature of it was 
old. It is not of the treasons whereof it may be 
said, from the beginning it was not so. You are 
indicted, Owen, not upon any statute made against 
the pope s supremacy, or other matters, that have 


reference to religion ; but merely upon that law 
which was born with the kingdom, and was law 
even in superstitious times, when the pope was 
received. The compassing and imagining of the king s 
death was treason. The statute of 25 Edw. III. 
which was but declaratory, begins with this article 
as the capital of capitals in treason, and of all others 
the most odious and the most perilous : and so the 
civil law saith, " Conjurationes omnium proditionum 
" odiosissimae et perniciosissimae." Against hostile 
invasions and the adherence of subjects to enemies, 
kings can arm. Rebellions must go over the bodies 
of many good subjects before they can hurt the 
king : but conspiracies against the persons of kings 
are like thunderbolts that strike upon the sudden, 
hardly to be avoided. " Major metus a singulis," 
saith he, " quam ab universis." There is no pre 
paration against them : and that preparation which 
may be of guard or custody, is a perpetual misery. 
And therefore they that have written of the pri 
vileges of ambassadors and of the amplitude of safe- 
conducts, have defined,, that if an ambassador or a 
man that cometh in upon the highest safe-conducts, 
do practise matter of sedition in a state, yet by the 
law of nations he ought to be remanded ; but if he 
conspire against the life of a prince by violence or 
poison, he is to be justiced : " Quia odium est omni 
" privilegio majus. Nay, even amongst enemies, 
and in the most deadly wars, yet nevertheless con 
spiracy and assassination of princes hath been ac 
counted villainous and execrable. 


The manners of conspiring and compassing the 
king s death are many : but it is most apparent, that 
amongst all the rest this surmounteth. First, be 
cause it is grounded upon pretenced religion ; which 
is a trumpet that inflameth the heart and powers of 
a man with daring and resolution more thnn any 
thing else. Secondly, it is the hardest to be avoided ; 
for when a particular conspiracy is plotted or at 
tempted against a king by >some one or some few con 
spirators, it meets vvith a number of impediments. 
Commonly he that hath the head to devise it, hath 
not the heart to undertake it : and the person that 
is used, sometimes faileth in courage ; sometimes 
faileth in opportunity ; sometimes is touched with 
remorse. But to publish and maintain, that it may 
be lawful for any man living to attempt the life of a 
king, this doctrine is a veneiy.ous sop ; or, as a le 
gion of malign spirits, or an universal temptation, 
doth enter at once into the hearts of all that are any 
way prepared, or of any predisposition to be trai 
tors ; so that whatsoever faileth in any one, is sup 
plied in many. If one man faint, another will dare : 
if one man hath not the opportunity, another hath ; 
if one man relent, another will be desperate. And 
thirdly, particular conspiracies have their periods of 
time, within which if they be not taken, they vanish ; 
but this is endless, and importeth perpetuity of 
springing conspiracies. And so much concerning 
the nature of the fact. 

For the third point, which is the doctrine ; that 
upon an excommunication of the pope, with sentence 


of deposing, a king by any son of Adam may 
be slaughtered ; and tbat it is justice and no mur 
der ; and tbat their subjects are absolved of their 
allegiance, and the kings themselves exposed to spoil 
and prey. I said before, that I would not argue 
the subtlety of the question : it is rather to be spoken 
to by way of accusation of the opinion as impious, 
than by way of dispute of it as doubtful. Nay, I 
say, it deserveth rather some holy war or league 
amongst all Christian princes of either religion for 
the extirpating and rasing of the opinion, and the 
authors thereof, from the face of the earth, than the 
stile of pen or speech. Therefore in this kind I will 
speak to it a few words, and not otherwise. Nay, I 
protest, if I were a Papist I should say as much : 
nay, I should speak it perhaps with more indigna 
tion and feeling. For this horrible opinion is our 
advantage, and it is their reproach, and will be their 

This monster of opinion is to be accused of three 
most evident and most miserable slanders. 

First, Of the slander it bringeth to the Christian 
faith, being a plain plantation of irreligion and 

Secondly, The subversion which it introduceth 
into all policy and government. 

Thirdly, The great calamity it bringeth upon 
Papists themselves ; of which the more moderate 
sort, as men misled, are to be pitied. 

For the first, if a man doth visit the foul and 
polluted opinions, customs, or practices of heathenism, 



Mabometanism, and heresy, he shall find they do 
not attain to this height. Take the examples of 
damnable memory amongst the heathens. The pro 
scriptions in Rome of Sylla, and afterwards of the 
Triumvirs, what were they ? They were but of a 
finite number of persons, and those not many that 
were exposed unto any man s sword. But what is 
that to the proscribing of a king, and all that shall 
take his part ? And what was the reward of a soldier 
that amongst them killed one of the proscribed ? A 
small piece of money. But what is now the reward 
of one that shall kill a king ? The kingdom of heaven. 
The custom among the heathen that was most scan 
dalised was, that sometimes the priest sacrificed 
men ; but yet you shall not read of any priesthood 
that sacrificed kings. 

The Mahometans make it a part of their religion 
to propagate their sect by the sword ; but yet still 
by honourable wars, never by villanies and secret 
murders. Nay, I find that the Saracen prince, of 
whom the name of the assassins is derived, which 
had divers votaries at commandment, which he sent 
and employed to the killing of divers princes in the 
east, by one of whom Amu rath the first was slain, 
and Edward the first of England was wounded, was 
put down and rooted out by common consent of the 
Mahometan princes. 

The Anabaptists, it is true, come nearest. For 
they profess the pulling down of magistrates : and 
they can chaunt the psalrn, " To bind their kings in 
" chains, and their nobles in fetters of iron." This 


is the glory of the saints, much like the temporal au 
thority that the Pope challenged! over princes. But 
this is the difference, that that is a furious and fana 
tical fury, and this is a sad and solemn mischief : he 
" imagineth mischief as a law ;" a law-like mischief. 

As for the defence which they do make, it doth 
aggravate the sin, and turneth it from a cruelty 
towards man to a blasphemy towards God. For to 
say that all this is " in ordine ad spirituale," and to a 
good end, and for the salvation of souls, it is directly 
to make God author of evil, and to draw him in the 
likeness of the prince of darkness ; and to say with 
those that Saint Paul speaketh of, " Let us do evil 
" that good may come thereof;" of whom the 
apostle saith definitively, " that their damnation is 

For the destroying of government universally, it 
is most evident, that it is not the case of protestant 
princes only, but of catholic princes likewise ; as the 
king hath excellently set forth. Nay, it is not the 
case of princes only, but of all subjects arid private 
persons. For touching princes, let history be pe 
rused, what hath been the causes of excommunication ; 
and namely, this tumour of it, the deposing of kings ; 
it hath not been for heresy and schism alone, but 
for collation and investitures of bishopricks and be 
nefices, intruding upon ecclesiastical possessions, vio 
lating of any ecclesiastical person or liberty. Nay, 
generally they maintain it, that it may be for any 
sin : so that the difference wherein their doctors vary, 
that some hold that the Pope hath his temporal 


power immediately, and others but " in ordine ad 
" spirituale," is but a delusion and an abuse. For all 
cometh to one. What is there that may not be 
made spiritual by consequence : especially when he 
that giveth the sentence may make the case ? and 
accordingly hath the miserable experience followed* 
For this murdering of kings hath been put in prac 
tice, as well against papist kings as protestant : save 
that it hath pleased God so to guide it by his admi 
rable providence, as the attempts upon papists princes 
have been executed, and the attempts upon protes 
tant princes have failed, except that of the prince of 
Orange : and not that neither, until such time as 
he had joined too fast with the duke of Anjou and 
the papists. As for subjects, I see not, nor ever could 
discern, but that by infallible consequence it is the 
case of all subjects and people, as well as of kings ; 
for it is all one reason, that a bishop, upon an ex- 
communicaton of a private man, may give his lands 
and goods in spoil, or cause him to be slaughtered, 
as for the Pope to do it towards a king ; and for a 
bishop to absolve the son from duty to the father, 
as for the pope to absolve the subject from his alle 
giance to his king. And this is not my inference, 
but the very affirmative of pope Urban the second, 
who in a brief to Godfrey, bishop of Luca, hath 
these very words, which cardinal Baronius reciteth 
in his Annals, Non illos homicidas arbitramur, qui 
" adversus excommunicates zelo catholic matris 
"ardentes eorum quoslibet trucidare contigerit," 
speaking generally of all excommunications. 



MAY 24, 1616, IN CASE SHE HAD 

It may please your Grace, my Lord High Steward of England^, 
and you my Lords the Peers : 

You have heard the indictment against this lady 
well opened ; and likewise the point in law, that might 
make some doubt, declared and solved ; wherein 
certainly the policy of the law of England is much 
to be esteemed, which requireth and respecteth form 
in the indictment, and substance in the proof. 

This scruple it may be hath moved this lady to 
plead not guilty, though for the proof I shall not 
need much more than her own confession, which 
she hath formerly made, free and voluntary, and 
therein given glory to God and justice. And cer 
tainly confession, as it is the strongest foundation of 
justice, so it is a kind of corner-stone, whereupon 
justice and mercy may meet. 

* She pleaded guilty, on which occasion the attorney-general 
spoke a charge somewhat different from this. 

f Thomas Egerton, Viscount Ellesmere, lord high chancellor. 


The proofs, which I shall read in the end for the 
ground of your verdict and sentence, will be very 
short ; and, as much as may, serve to satisfy your 
honours and consciences for the conviction of this 
lady, without wasting of time in a case clear and 
confessed ; or ripping up guiltiness against one, that 
hath prostrated herself by confession ; or preventing 
or deflowering too much of the evidence. And 
therefore the occasion itself doth admonish me to 
spend this day rather in declaration than in evidence, 
giving God and the king the honour, and your lord 
ships and the hearers the contentment, to set before 
you the proceeding of this excellent work of the 
king s justice, from the beginning to the end ; and 
so to conclude with the reading the confessions and 

My lords, this is now the second time * within 
the space of thirteen years reign of our happy sove 
reign, that this high tribunal-seat of justice, or 
dained for the trial by peers, hath been opened and 
erected ; and that, with a rare event, supplied and 
exercised by one and the same person, which is a 
great honour to you, my lord steward. 

In all this meantime the king hath reigned in his 
white robe, not sprinkled with any drop of blood of 
any of his nobles of this kingdom. Nay, such have 
been the depths of his mercy, as even those noble- 
mens bloods, against whom the proceeding was at 

* The first time was on the trials of the lords Cobham and 
Grey, in November, 1603. 


Winchester, Cobham and Grey, were attainted and 
corrupted, but not spilt or taken away ; but that 
they remained rather spectacles of justice in their 
continual imprisonment, than monuments of justice 
in the memory of their suffering. 

It is true, that the objects of his justice then 
and now were very differing. For then, it was 
the revenge of an offence against his own person 
and crown, and upon persons that were malcon 
tents, and contraries to the state and government. 
But now, it is the revenge of the blood and death 
of a particular subject, and the cry of a prisoner. 
It is upon persons that were highly in his favour ; 
whereby his majesty, to his great honour, hath 
shewed to the world, as if it were written in a 
sun-beam, that he is truly the lieutenant of Him, 
with whom there is no respect of persons ; that his 
affections royal are above his affections private : 
that his favours and nearness about him are not 
like popish sanctuaries to privilege malefactors : 
and that his being the best master of the world 
doth not let him from being the best king of 
the world. His people, on the other side, may say 
to themselves, " I will lie down in peace ; for God 
and the king and the law protect me against 
great and small." It may be a discipline also 
to great men, especially such as are swoln in for 
tunes from small beginnings, that the king is as 
well able to level mountains, as to fill valleys, if 
such be their desert. 


But to come to the present case ; the great frame 
of justice, my lords, in this present action, hath a 
vault, and it hath a stage : a vault, wherein these 
works of darkness were contrived ; and a stage with 
steps, by which they were brought to light. And 
therefore I will bring this work of justice to the 
period of this day ; and then go on with this day s 

Sir Thomas Overbury was murdered by poison 
in the ]5th of .September, 1613, 1 1 Reg. This foul 
and cruel murder did, for a time, cry secretly in the 
ears of God ; but God gave no answer to it, other 
wise than by that voice, which sometimes he useth, 
which is " vox populi," the speech of the people. 
For there went then a murmur, that Overbury was 
poisoned : and yet this same submiss and soft voice 
of God, the speech of the vulgar people, was not 
without a counter-tenor, or counter-blast of the devil, 
who is the common author both of murder and slan 
der : for it was given out, that Overbury was dead 
of a foul disease, and his body, which they had made 
a " corpus Judaicum" with their poisons, so as it had 
no whole part, must be said to be leprosed with vice, 
and so his name poisoned as well as his body. For as 
to dissoluteness, I never heard the gentleman noted 
with it : his faults were insolency and turbulency, 
and the like of that kind : the other part of the soul, 
not the voluptuous. 

Mean time, there was some industry used, of 
which I will not now speak, to lull asleep those that 


were the revengers of blood ; the father and the bro 
ther of the murdered. And in these terms things 
stood by the space almost of two years, during which 
time God so blinded the two great procurers, and 
dazzled them with their own greatness, arid did bind 
and nail fast the actors and instruments with secu 
rity upon their protection, as neither the one looked 
about them, nor the other stirred or fled, nor were 
conveyed away ; but remaineth here still, as under 
a privy arrest of God s judgments; insomuch as 
Franklin, that should have been sent over to the 
Palsgrave with good store of money, was, by God s 
providence and the accident of a marriage of his, di 
verted and stayed. 

But about the beginning of the progress last 
summer, God s judgments began to come out of 
their depths : and as the revealing of murders is 
commonly such, as a man may say, " a Domino 
" hoc factum est ;" it is God s work, and it is mar 
vellous in our eyes : so in this particular it is most 
admirable ; for it came forth by a compliment and 
matter of courtesy. 

My lord of Shrewsbury*, that is now with God, 
recommended to a counsellor of state, of especial 
trust by his place, the late lieutenant Helwissef, only 

* Gilbert earl of Shrewsbury, knight of the Garter, who died 
May 8, 1616. 

f Sir Gervase Helwisse, appointed lieutenant of the Tower, 
upon the removal of Sir William Waade on the 6th of May, 
1613, [" Reliquiae Wottonianac," p. 412, 3d edit. 16/2.] Mr. 
Chamberlain, in a MS, letter to Sir Dudley Carleton, dated 


for acquaintance as an honest worthy gentleman; 
and desired him to know him, and to be acquainted 
with him. That counsellor answered him civilly, 
that my lord did him a favour ; and that he should 
embrace it willingly : but he must let his lordship 
know., that there did lie a heavy imputation upon 
that gentleman, Helwisse ; for that Sir Thomas Over- 
bury, his prisoner, was thought to have come to a 
violent and untimely death. When this speech was 
reported back by my lord of Shrewsbury to Helwisse, 
" perculit illico animum," he was stricken with it ; 
and being a politic man, and of likelihood doubting 
that the matter would break forth at one time or 
other, and that others might have the start of him, 
and thinking to make his own case by his own tale, 
resolved with himself, upon this occasion, to discover 
to my lord of Shrewsbury and that counsellor, that 
there was an attempt, whereto he was privy, to have 
poisoned Overbury by the hands of his under-keeper 
Weston ; but that he checked it, and put it by, and 
dissuaded it, and related so much to him indeed : but 

at London, May 13, 1613, speaks of Sir Gervase s promotion in 
these terms. " One Sir Gervase Helwisse, of Lincolnshire, some- 
" what an unknown man, is put into the place [of Sir W. 
" Waade s] by the favour of the lord chamberlain [earl of So- 
" merset] and his lady. The gentleman is of too mild and gen- 
" tie a disposition for such an office. He is my old friend and 
" acquaintance in France, and lately renewed in town, where he 
" hath lived past a year, nor followed the court many a day." 
Sir Henry Wotton, in a letter of the 14th of May, 1613, [" ubi 
" supra," p. <23.] says, that Sir Gervase had been before one of 
the pensioners. 


then he left it thus, that it was but an attempt, or 
untimely birth, never executed ; and as if his own 
fault had been no more, but that he was honest in 
forbidding, but fearful of revealing and impeaching 
or accusing great persons ; and so with this fine 
point thought to save himself. 

But that great counsellor of state wisely consi 
dering, that by the lieutenant s own tale it could not 
be simply a permission or weakness ; for that Weston 
was never displaced by the lieutenant, notwithstand 
ing that attempt ; and coupling the sequel by the 
beginning, thought it matter fit to be brought be 
fore his majesty, by whose appointment Helwisse set 
down the like declaration in writing. 

Upon this ground the king playeth Solomon s 
part, " Gloria Dei celare rem ; et Gloria Regis in- 
" vestigare rem ;" and sets down certain papers of 
his own hand, which I might term to be te claves 
" justitiae," keys of justice ; and may serve for a pre 
cedent both for princes to imitate, and for a direc 
tion for judges to follow : and his majesty carried 
the balance with a constant and steady hand, evenly 
and without prejudice, whether it were a true accu 
sation of the one part, or a practice and factious de 
vice of the other : which writing, because I am not 
able to express according to the worth thereof, I will 
desire your lordship anon to hear read. 

This excellent foundation of justice being laid by 
his Majesty s own hand, it was referred unto some 
counsellors to examine farther, who gained some de- 


grees of light from Western, but yet left it imper 

After it was referred to Sir Edward Coke, chief 
justice of the King s Bench, as a person best practised 
in legal examinations, who took a great deal of inde 
fatigable pains in it, without intermission, having, as 
I have heard him say, taken at least three hundred 
examinations in this business. 

But these things were not done in a corner. I 
need not speak of them. It is true, that my lord 
chief justice, in the dawning and opening of the light, 
finding that the matter touched upon these great 
persons, very discreetly became suitor to the king to 
have greater persons than his own rank joined with 
him. Whereupon, your lordship, my lord High 
Steward of England, to whom the King commonly 
resorteth " in arduis," and my lord steward of the 
king s house, and my lord Zouch, were joined with 

Neither wanted there this while practice to sup 
press testimony, to deface writings, to weaken the 
king s resolution, to slander the justice, and the like. 
Nay, when it came to the first solemn act of justice, 
which was the arraignment of Weston, he had his 
lesson to stand mute ; which had arrested the wheel 
of justice. But this dumb devil, by the means of 
some discreet divines, and the potent charm of jus 
tice, together, was cast out. Neither did this poi 
sonous adder stop his ear to those charms, but 
relented, and yielded to his trial. 


Then follow the proceedings of justice against 
the other offenders, Turner, Helwisse, Franklin. 

But all these being but the organs and instru 
ments of this fact, the actors and not the authors, 
justice could not have been crowned without this 
last act against these great persons. Else Weston s 
censure or prediction might have been verified, when 
he said, he hoped the small flies should not be caught 
and the great escape. Wherein the king being in 
great straits, between the defacing of his honour and 
of his creature, hath, according as he useth to do, 
chosen the better part, reserving always mercy to 

The time also of this justice hath had its true 
motions. The time until this lady s deliverance was 
due unto honour, Christianity, and humanity, in re 
spect of her great belly. The time since was due to 
another kind of deliverance too ; which was, that 
some causes of estate, that were in the womb, might 
likewise be brought forth, not for matter of justice, 
but for reason of state. Likewise this last procras 
tination of days had the like weighty grounds 
and causes. And this is the true and brief repre 
sentation of this extreme work of the king s justice. 

Now for the evidence against this lady, I am 
sorry I must rip it up. I shall first shew you the 
purveyance or provisions of the poisons : that they 
were seven in number brought to this lady, and by 
her billetted and laid up till they might be used : 
and this done with an oath or vow of secrecy, which 


is like the Egyptian darkness,, a gross and palpable 
darkness, that may be felt. 

Secondly, I shall shew you the exhibiting and 
sorting of this same number or volley of poisons : 
white arsenic was fit for salt, because it is of like 
body and colour. The poison of great spiders, and 
of the venomous fly cantharides, was fit for pigs 
sauce or partridge sauce, because it resembled pep 
per. As for mercury-water, and other poisons, they 
might be fit for tarts, which is a kind of hotch-pot, 
wherein no one colour is so proper : and some of 
these were delivered by the hands of this lady, and 
some by her direction. 

Thirdly, I shall prove and observe unto you the 
cautions of these poisons ; that they might not be 
too swift, lest the world should startle at it by the 
suddenness of the dispatch : but they must abide 
long in the body, and work by degrees : and for this 
purpose there must be essays of them upon poor 
beasts, &c. 

And lastly, I shall shew you the rewards of this 
impoisonment, first demanded by Weston, and de 
nied, because the deed was not done ; but after the 
deed done and perpetrated, that Overbury was dead, 
then performed and paid to the value of 1801. 

And so without farther aggravation of that, which 
in itself bears its own tragedy, I will conclude with 
the confessions of this lady herself, which is the 
strongest support of justice ; and yet is the footstool 
of mercy. For, as the Scripture says, " Mercy and 


" truth have kissed each other ;" there is no meeting 
or greeting of mercy, till there be a confession, or 
trial of truth. For these read, 

Franklin, November 16, 

Franklin, November 17, 

Rich. Weston, October 1, 

Rich. Weston, October 2, 

Will. Weston, October 2, 

Rich. Weston, October 3, 

Helwisse, October 2, 

The Countess s letter without date, 

The Countess s confession, January 8. 






It may please your Grace, my Lord High Steward of England, 
and you my Lords the Peers : 

I AM very glad to hear this unfortunate lady doth 
take this course, to confess fully and freely, and 
thereby to give glory to God and to justice. It is, 
as I may term it, the nobleness of an offender to 
confess : and therefore those meaner persons, upon 
whom justice passed before, confessed not; she doth. 
I know your lordships cannot behold her without 
compassion : many things may move you, her youth, 
her person, her sex, her noble family ; yea, her pro 
vocations, if I should enter into the cause itself, and 
furies about her; but chiefly her penitency and 
confession. But justice is the work of this day ; the 
mercy-seat was in the inner part of the temple ; the 
throne is public. But since this lady hath by her 
confession prevented my evidence, and your verdict, 

* The lord chancellor Egerton, lord Ellesmere, and earl of 


and that this day s labour is eased ; there resteth, in 
the legal proceeding, but for me to pray that her 
confession may be recorded, and judgment there 

But because your lordships the peers are met, 
and that this day and to-morrow are the days that 
crown all the former justice ; and that in these great 
cases it hath been ever the manner to respect honour 
and satisfaction, as well as the ordinary parts and 
forms of justice; the occasion itself admonisheth me 
to give your lordships and the hearers this content 
ment, as to make declaration of the proceedings of 
this excellent work of the king s justice, from the 
beginning to the end. 

It may please your grace, my lord high steward 
of England : this is now the second time, within the 
space of thirteen years reign of our happy sovereign, 
that this high tribunal-seat, ordained for the trial of 
peers, hath been opened and erected, and that with 
a rare event, supplied and exercised by one and the 
same person, which is a great honour unto you, my 
lord steward. 

In all this mean-time the king hath reigned 
in his white robe, not sprinkled with any one 
drop of the blood of any of his nobles of this 
kingdom. Nay, such have been the depths of his 
mercy, as even those noblemen s bloods, against 
whom the proceeding was at Winchester, Cobham 
and Grey, were attainted and corrupted, but not 
spilt or taken away ; but that they remained rather 
spectacles of justice in their continual imprisonment, 

VOL. vi. o 


than monuments of justice in the memory of their 

It is true that the objects of his justice then and 
now were very differing : for then it was the re 
venge of an offence against his own person and 
crown, and upon persons that were malcontents, 
and contraries to the state and government ; but 
now it is the revenge of the blood and death of a 
particular subject, and the cry of a prisoner : it is 
upon persons that were highly in his favour ; 
whereby his majesty, to his great honour, hath 
shewed to the world, as if it were written in a sun 
beam, that he is truly the lieutenant of Him with 
whom there is no respect of persons; that his 
affections royal are above his affections private ; that 
his favours and nearness about him are not like 
popish sanctuaries, to privilege malefactors ; and 
that his being the best master in the world doth not 
let him from being the best king in the world. His 
people, on the other side, may say to themselves, I 
will lie down in peace, for God, the king, and the 
law, protect me against great and small. It may 
be a discipline also to great men, especially such as 
are swoln in their fortunes from small beginnings, 
that the king is as well able to level mountains, as 
to fill valleys, if such be their desert. 

But to come to the present case : The great 
frame of justice, my lords, in this present action, 
hath a vault, and hath a stage ; a vault, wherein 
these works of darkness were contrived ; and a stage, 
with steps, by which it was brought to light. 


For the former of these, I will not lead your 
lordships into It, because I will engrieve nothing 
against a penitent ; neither will I open any thing 
against him that is absent. The one I will give to 
the laws of humanity, and the other to the laws of 
justice : for I shall always serve my master with a 
good and sincere conscience, and, I know, that he 
accepteth best. Therefore I will reserve that till 
to-morrow, and hold myself to that which I called 
the stage or theatre, whereunto indeed it may be 
fitly compared : for that things were first contained 
within the invisible judgments of God, as within a 
curtain, and after came forth, and were acted most 
worthily by the king, and right well by his minis 

Sir Thomas Overbury was murdered by poison, 
September 15, 1613. This foul and cruel murder 
did for a time cry secretly in the ears of God; but God 
gave no answer to it, otherwise than by that voice, 
which sometimes he useth, which is " voxpopuli," 
the speech of the people : for there went then a mur 
mur that Overbury was poisoned ; and yet the 
same submiss and low voice of God, the speech 
of the vulgar people, was not without a counter 
tenor or counter-blast of the devil, who is the com 
mon author both of murder and slander ; for it was 
given out that Overbury was dead of a foul disease ; 
and his body, which they had made " corpus Judai- 
cum" with their poisons, so as it had no whole part, must 
be said to be leprosed with vice, and so his name 
poisoned as well as his body. For as to dissolute- 


ness, I have not heard the gentleman noted with it ; 
his faults were of insolency, turbulency, and the like 
of that kind. 

Mean time there was some industry used, of 
which I will not now speak, to lull asleep those that 
were the revengers of the blood, the father and the 
brother of the murdered. And in these terms things 
stood by the space of two years, during which time 
God did so blind the two great procurers, and dazzle 
them with their greatness, and blind and nail fast 
the actors and instruments with security upon their 
protection, as neither the one looked about them, 
nor the other stirred or fled, or were conveyed 
away, but remained here still, as under a privy arrest 
of God s judgments; insomuch as Franklin, that 
should have been sent over to the Palsgrave with 
good store of money, was, by God s providence and 
the accident of a marriage of his, diverted and 

But about the beginning of the progress the last 
summer, God s judgments began to come out of their 
depths. And as the revealing of murder is com 
monly such as a man said, " a Domino hoc factum 
" est ; it is God s work, and it is marvellous in our 
" eyes :" so in this particular it was most admirable ; 
for it came forth first by a compliment, a matter of 
courtesy. My lord of Shrewsbury, that is now with 
God, recommended to a counsellor of state, of special 
trust by his place, the late lieutenant Helwisse,* 

* Called in Sir H. Wotton s Reliq. p. 413. Elvis. In Sir A. 
Welden s Court of King James, p. 107. Elwaies. In Aulic. Co- 


only for acquaintance, as an honest and worthy gen 
tleman, and desired him to know him, and to be ac 
quainted with him. That counsellor answered him 
civilly, that my lord did him a favour, and that he 
should embrace it willingly ; but he must let his lord 
ship know, that there did lie a heavy imputation 
upon that gentleman, Helwisse ; for that Sir Thomas 
Overbury, his prisoner, was thought to have come to 
a violent and an untimely death. When this speech 
was reported back by my lord of Shrewsbury to 
Helwisse, " percussit illico animum," he was strucken 
with it : and being a politic man, and of likelihood 
doubting that the matter would break forth at one 
time or other, and that others might have the start 
of him, and thinking to make his own case by his 
own tale, resolved with himself upon this occasion 
to discover unto my lord of Shrewsbury, and that 
counsellor, that there was an attempt, whereunto he 
was privy, to have poisoned Overbury by the hands 
of his under-keeper Weston ; but that he checked it, 
and put it by, and dissuadedit. But then heleftit thus, 
that it was but as an attempt, or an untimely birth, 
never executed ; and as if his own fault had been no 
more, but that he was honest in forbidding, but fear 
ful of revealing and impeaching, or accusing great 
persons : and so with this fine point thought to save 

But that counsellor of estate, wisely considering 

quin. p. 141. Ellowaies. In Sir W. Dugdale s Baron, of Eng 
land, torn, ii. p. 425. Elwayes. In Baker, p. 434. Yelvis. 


that by the lieutenant s own tale it could not be sim 
ply a permission or weakness ; for that Weston was 
never displaced by the lieutenant, notwithstanding 
that attempt ; and coupling the sequel by the begin 
ning, thought it matter fit to be brought before his 
majesty, by whose appointment Helwisse set down 
the like declaration in writing. 

Upon this ground the king playeth Solomon s 
part, " Gloria Dei celare rem, et gloria Regis inves- 
u tigare rem/ and sets down certain papers of his 
own hand, which I might term to be " claves justitiae," 
keys of justice ; and may serve both for a precedent 
for princes to imitate, and for a direction for judges 
to follow. And his majesty carried the balance with 
a constant and steady hand, evenly and without pre 
judice, whether it were a true accusation of the one 
part, or a practice and factious scandal of the other: 
which writing, because I am not able to express ac 
cording to the worth thereof, I will desire your 
lordships anon to hear read. 

This excellent foundation of justice being laid 
by his majesty s own hand, it was referred unto some 
counsellors to examine farther ; who gained some 
degrees of light from Weston, but yet left it im 

After it was referred to Sir Edward Coke, chief 
justice of the king s bench, as a person best practised 
in legal examinations ; who took a great deal of in 
defatigable pains in it without intermission, having, 
as I have heard him say, taken at least three hundred 
examinations in this business. 


But these things were not done in a corner, I 
need not speak of them. It is true that my lord 
chief justice, in the dawning and opening of 
the light, finding the matter touched upon these 
great persons, very discreetly became suitor to the 
king, to have greater persons than his own rank join 
ed with him ; whereupon your lordships, my lord 
high steward of England, my lord steward of the 
king s house, and my lord Zouch, were joined with 

Neither wanted there, this while, practice to sup 
press testimony, to deface writings, to weaken the 
king s resolution, to slander the justice, and the like. 
Nay, when it came to the first solemn act of justice, 
which was the arraignment of Weston, he had his 
lesson to stand mute, which had arrested the whole 
wheel of justice, but this dumb devil, by the means 
of some discreet divines, and the potant charm of jus 
tice together, was cast out ; neither did this poison 
ous adder stop his ear to these charms, but relented, 
and yielded to his trial. 

Then followed the other proceedings of justice 
against the other offenders, Turner, Helwisse, 

But all these being but the organs and instru 
ments of this fact, the actors, and not the authors, 
justice could not have been crowned without this last 
act against these great persons ; else Weston s cen 
sure or prediction might have been verified, when he 
said, he hoped the small flies should not be caught, 
and the greater escape. Wherein the king, being in 


great straits between the defacing of his honour, and 
of his creature, hath, according as he used to do, 
chosen the better part, reserving always mercy to 

The time also of justice hath had its true mo 
tions. The time until this lady s deliverance was 
due unto honour, Christianity, and humanity, in re 
spect of her great belly. The time since was due 
to another kind of deliverance too ; which was, that 
some causes of estate which were in the womb might 
likewise be brought forth, not for matter of justice, 
but for reason of state. Likewise this last procras 
tination of days had the like weighty grounds and 

But, my lords, where I speak of a stage, I doubt 
I hold you upon the stage too long. But before I 
pray judgment, I pray your lordships to hear the 
king s papers read, that you may see how well the 
king was inspired, and how nobly he carried it, that 
innocency might not have so much as aspersion. 

Frances, Countess of Somerset, hath been indicted 
and arraigned, as accessary before the fact, for the 
murder and impoisonment of Sir Thomas Over- 
bury, and hath pleaded guilty, and confesseth the 
indictment : I pray judgment against the prisoner. 




It may please your Grace, my lord High Steward oj England, and 
you my lords the Peers : 

You have here before you Robert earl of Somerset, 
to be tried for his life, concerning the procuring and 
consenting to the impoisonment of Sir Thomas Over- 
bury, then the king s prisoner in the Tower of Lon 
don, as an accessary before the fact. 

I know your lordships cannot behold this noble 
man, but you must remember his great favour with 
the king, and the great place that he hath had and 
borne, and must be sensible that he is yet of your num 
ber and body, a peer as you are ; so that you can 
not cut him off from your body but with grief; and 
therefore that you will expect from us, that give in 
the king s evidence, sound and sufficient matter of 
proof to satisfy your honours and consciences. 

As for the manner of the evidence, the king our 
master, who among his other virtues excelleth in that 


virtue of the imperial throne, which is justice, hath 
given us in commandment that we should not expa 
tiate, nor make invectives, but materially pursue the 
evidence, as it conduceth to the point in question ; a 
matter, that though we are glad of so good a war 
rant, yet we should have done of ourselves : for far 
be it from us, by any strains of wit or art, to seek to 
play prizes, or to blazon our names in blood, or to 
carry the day otherwise than upon just grounds. We 
shall carry the lanthorn of justice, which is the evi 
dence, before your eyes upright, and to be able to 
save it from being put out with any winds of evasion 
or vain defences, that is our part ; and within that 
we shall contain ourselves, not doubting at all, but 
that the evidence itself will carry such force as it 
shall need no vantage or aggravation. 

My lords, the course which I will hold in deli 
vering that which I shall say, for I love order, shall 
be this : 

First, I will speak somewhat of the nature and 
greatness of the offence which is now to be tried ; 
not to weigh down my lord with the greatness of it, 
but contrariwise to shew that a great offence de- 
serveth a great proof, and that the king, however he 
might esteem this gentleman heretofore, as the signet 
upon his finger, to use the Scripture-phrase, yet in 
such case as this he was to put him off. 

Secondly, I will use some few words touching 
the nature of the proofs, which in such a case are 


Thirdly, I will state the proofs. 

Fourthly and lastly, I will produce the proofs, 
either out of examinations and matters in writing, or 
witnesses, " viva voce." 

For the offence itself, it is of crimes, next unto 
high treason, the greatest ; it is the foulest of felo 
nies. And take this offence with the circumstances, 
it hath three degrees or stages ; that it is murder ; 
that it is murder by impoisonment ; that it is mur 
der committed upon the king s prisoner in the 
Tower : I might say, that it is murder under the co 
lour of friendship ; but this is a circumstance moral ; 
I leave that to the evidence itself. 

For murder, my lords, the first record of justice 
that was in the world was a judgment upon a mur 
derer in the person of Adam s first-born, Cain ; and 
though it was not punished by death, but with ba 
nishment and mark of ignominy, in respect of the 
primogeniture, or population of the world, or other 
points of God s secret decree, yet it was judged, and 
was, as it is said, the first record of justice. So it 
appeareth likewise in Scripture, that the murder of 
Abner by Joab, though it were by David respited in 
respect of great services past, or reason of state, yet 
it was not forgotten. But of this I will say no more. 
It was ever admitted, and ranked in God s own ta 
bles, that murder is of offences between man and man, 
next unto treason and disobedience unto authority, 
which some divines have referred to the first table, 
because of the lieutenancy of God in princes. 

For impoisonment, I am sorry it should be heard 


of in this kingdom : it is not " nostri generis nee san- 
" guinis :" it is an Italian crime, fit for the court of 
Rome, where that person, which intoxicateth the 
kings of the earth with his cup of poison, is many 
times really and materially intoxicated and impoi- 
soned himself. 

But it hath three circumstances, which make it 
grievous beyond other murders : whereof the first is, 
that it takes away a man in full peace, in God s and 
the king s peace ; he thinketh no harm, but is com 
forting of nature with refection and food ; so that, as 
the Scripture saith, " his table is made a snare." 

The second is, that it is easily committed, and 
easily concealed ; and on the other side, hardly pre 
vented, and hardly discovered : for murder by vio 
lence, princes have guards, and private men have 
houses, attendants, and arms : neither can such mur 
der be committed but " cumsonitu," and with some 
overt and apparent act that may discover and trace 
the offender. But as for poison, the cup itself of 
princes will scarce serve, in regard of many poisons 
that neither discolour nor distaste. 

And the last is, because it concerneth not only 
the destruction of the maliced man, but of any other ; 
" Quis modo tutus erit ?" for many times the poison 
is prepared for one, and is taken by another : so that 
men die other men s deaths ; " considit infelix alieno 
" vulnere :" and it is, as the Psalm calleth it, " sa- 
" gitta nocte volans ;" the arrow that flieth by night, 
it hath no aim or certainty. 

Now for the third degree of this particular of- 


fence, which is, that it was committed upon the 
king s prisoner, who was out of his own defence, and 
merely in the king s protection, and for whom the 
king and state was a kind of respondent ; is a thing 
that aggravates the fault much. For certainly, my 
lord of Somerset, let me tell you this, that Sir Tho 
mas Overbury is the first man that was murdered in 
the Tower of London, since the murder of the two 
young princes. Thus much of the offence, now to 
the proof. 

For the nature of the proofs, your lordships 
must consider, that impoisonment, of all offences is 
the most secret ; so secret, as that if in all cases of 
impoisonment you should require testimony, you 
were as good proclaim impunity. 

Who could have impeached Livia, by testimony, 
of the impoisoning figs upon the tree, which her hus 
band was wont to gather with his own hands ? 

Who could have impeached Parisatis for the poi 
soning of one side of the knife that she carved with, 
and keeping the other side clean ; so that herself did 
eat of the same piece of meat that the lady did that 
she did impoison ? The cases are infinite, and need 
not to be spoken of, of the secrecy of impoison- 
ments ; but wise triers must take upon them, in 
these secret cases, Solomon s spirit, that, where 
there could be no witnesses, collected the act by the 

But yet we are not to come to one case : for that 
which your lordships are to try is not the act of im 
poisonment, for that is done to your hand ; all the 


world by law is concluded to say, that Overbury was 
impoisoned by Weston. 

But the question before you is of the procure 
ment only, and of the abetting, as the law termeth 
it, as accessary before the fact : which abetting is no 
more but to do or use any act or means, which may 
aid or conduce unto the impoisonment. 

So that it is not the buying or making of the 
poison, or the preparing, or confecting, or commix 
ing of it, or the giving or sending or laying the poi 
son, that are the only acts that do amount unto abet 
ment. But if there be any other act or means done 
or used to give the opportunity of impoisonment, or 
to facilitate the execution of it, or to stop or divert 
any impediments that might hinder it, and this be 
with an intention to accomplish and achieve the im 
poisonment ; all these are abetments, and accessa 
ries before the fact. I will put you a familiar exam 
ple. Allow there be a conspiracy to murder a man 
as he journeys by the way, and it be one man s part 
to draw him forth to that journey by invitation, or 
by colour of some business ; and another takes upon 
him to dissuade some friend of his, whom he had a 
purpose to take in his company, that he be not too 
strong to make his defence ; and another hath the 
part to go along with him, and to hold him in talk 
till the first blow be given : all these, my lords, 
without scruple are abettors to this murder, though 
none of them give the blow, nor assist to give the 

My lords, he is not the hunter alone that lets 


slip the dog upon the deer, but he that lodges the 
deer, or raises him, or puts him out, or he that sets 
a toil that he cannot escape, or the like. 

But this, my lords, little needeth in this present 
case, where there is such a chain of acts of impoison- 
ment as hath been seldom seen, and could hardly 
have been expected, but that greatness of fortune 
maketh commonly grossness in offending. 

To descend to the proofs themselves, I shall keep 
this course. 

First, I will make a narrative or declaration of 
the fact itself. 

Secondly, I will break and distribute the proofs 
as they concern the prisoner. 

And thirdly, according to that distribution, I will 
produce them, and read them, or use them. 

So that there is nothing that I shall say, but 
your lordship, my lord of Somerset, shall have three 
thoughts or cogitations to answer it : First, when I 
open it, you may take your aim. Secondly, when I 
distribute it, you may prepare your answers without 
confusion. And lastly, when I produce the wit 
nesses or examinations themselves, you may again 
ruminate and re-advise how to make your defence. 
And this I do the rather, because your memory or 
understanding may not be oppressed or overladen 
with the length of evidence, or with confusion of or 
der. Nay more, when your lordship shall make your 
answers in your time, I will put you in mind, when 
cause shall be, of your omissions. 

First, therefore, for the simple narrative of the 


fact. Sir Thomas Overbury for a time was known 
to have had great interest and great friendship with 
my lord of Somerset, both in his meaner fortunes, 
and after ; insomuch as he was a kind of oracle of 
direction unto him ; and, if you will believe his own 
vaunts., being of an insolent Thrasonical disposition, 
he took upon him, that the fortune, reputation, and 
understanding of this gentleman, who is well known 
to have had a better teacher, proceeded from his 
company and counsel. 

And this friendship rested not only in conversa 
tion and business of court, but likewise in commu 
nication of secrets of estate. For my lord of Somer 
set, at that time exercising, by his majesty s special 
favour and trust, the office of the secretary pro 
visionally, did not forbear to acquaint Overbury 
with the king s packets of dispatches from all parts, 
Spain, France, the Low Countries, &c. And this 
not by glimpses, or now and then rounding in the 
ear for a favour, but in a settled manner : packets 
were sent, sometimes opened by my lord, sometimes 
unbroken, unto Overbury, who perused them, copied, 
registered them, made tables of them as he thought 
good : so that, I will undertake, the time was when 
Overbury knew more of the secrets of state than 
the council-table did. Nay, they were grown to 
such an inwardness, as they made a play of all the 
world besides themselves : so as they had ciphers 
and jargons for the king, the queen, and all the 
great men ; things seldom used, but either by 
princes and their ambassadors and ministers, or by 


such as work and practise against, or at least upon, 

But understand me, my lord, I shall not charge 
you this day with any disloyalty ; only I say this for 
a foundation, that there was a great communication 
of secrets between you and Overbury, and that it 
had relation to matters of estate, and the greatest 
causes of this kingdom. 

But, my lords, as it is a principle in nature, that 
the best things are in their corruption the worst, 
and the sweetest wine makes the sharpest vinegar ; 
so fell it out with them, that this excess, as I may 
term it, of friendship ended in mortal hatred on my 
lord of Somerset s part. 

For it fell out, some twelve months before Over- 
bury s imprisonment in the Tower, that my lord of 
Somerset was entered into an unlawful love towards 
his unfortunate lady, then countess of Essex : which 
went so far, as it was then secretly projected, 
chiefly between my Lord Privy Seal and my lord of 
Somerset, to effect a nullity in the marriage with 
my lord of Essex, and so to proceed to a marriage 
with Somerset. 

This marriage and purpose did Overbury mainly 
oppugn, under pretence to do the true part of a 
friend, for that he counted her an unworthy woman ; 
but the truth was, that Overbury, who, to speak 
plainly, had little that was solid for religion or moral 
virtue, but was a man possessed with ambition and 
vain-glory, was loth to have any partners in the 
favour of my lord of Somerset, and especially not 



the house of the Howards, against whom he had 
always professed hatred and opposition : so all was 
but miserable bargains of ambition. 

And, my lords, that this is no sinister construc 
tion, will well appear unto you, when you shall hear 
that Overbury makes his brags to my lord of Somer 
set, that he had won him the love of the lady by his 
letters and industry : so far was he from cases of 
conscience in this matter. And certainly, my lords, 
howsoever the tragical misery of that poor gentle 
man Overbury ought somewhat to obliterate his 
faults ; yet because we are not now upon point of 
civility, but to discover the face of truth to the face 
of justice ; and that it is material to the true under 
standing of the state of this cause ; Overbury was 
naught and corrupt, the ballads must be amended 
for that point. 

But to proceed ; when Overbury saw that he 
was like to be dispossessed of my lord here, whom 
he had possessed so long, and by whose greatness he 
had promised himself to do wonders ; and being a 
man of an unbounded and impetuous spirit, he 
began not only to dissuade, but to deter him from 
that love and marriage ; and finding him fixed, 
thought to try stronger remedies, supposing that he 
had my lord s head under his girdle, in respect of 
communication of secrets of estate, or, as he calls 
them himself in his letters, secrets of all natures ; 
and therefore dealt violently with him, to make him 
desist, with menaces of discovery of secrets, and the 


Hereupon grew two streams of hatred upon 
Overbury ; the one, from the lady, in respect that 
he crossed her love, and abused her name, which 
are furies to women ; the other, of a deeper and 
more mineral nature, from my lord of Somerset 
himself; who was afraid of Overbury s nature, 
and that if he did break from him and fly out, 
he would mine into him and trouble his whole 

I might add a third stream from the earl of 
Northampton s ambition, who desires to be first in 
favour with my lord of Somerset ; and knowing 
Overbury s malice to himself and his house, thought 
that man must be removed and cut off. So it was 
amongst them resolved and decreed that Overbury 
must die. 

Hereupon they had variety of devices. To send 
him beyond sea, upon occasion of employment, that 
was too weak ; and they were so far from giving 
way to it, as they crossed it. There rested but two 
ways, quarrel or assault, and poison. For that of 
assault, after some proposition and attempt, they 
passed from it ; it was a thing too open, and subject 
to more variety of chances. That of poison likewise 
was a hazardous thing, and subject to many pre 
ventions and cautions ; especially to such a jealous 
and working brain as Overbury had, except he were 
first fast in their hands. 

Therefore the way was first to get him into a 
trap, and lay him up, and then they could not miss 
the mark. Therefore in execution of this plot it 


was devised, that Overbury should be designed to 
some honourable employment in foreign parts, and 
should under-hand by the lord of Somerset be encou 
raged to refuse it ; and so upon that contempt he 
should be laid prisoner in the Tower, and then they 
would look he should be close enough, and death 
should be his bail. Yet were they not at their end. 
For they considered that if there was not a fit 
lieutenant of the Tower for their purpose, and like 
wise a fit under-keeper of Overbury ; first, they 
should meet with many impediments in the giving 
and exhibiting the poison. Secondly, they should 
be exposed to note and observation that might 
discover them. And thirdly, Overbury in the mean 
time might write clamourous and furious letters to 
other his friends, and so all might be disappointed. 
And therefore the next link of the chain was to 
displace the then lieutenant Waade, and to place 
Helwisse, a principal abettor in the impoisonment ; 
again, to displace Gary, that was the under-keeper 
in Waade s time, and to place Weston, who was the 
principal actor in the impoisonment : and this was 
done in such a while, that it may appear to be 
done, as it were, with one breath, as there were but 
fifteen days between the commitment of Overbury, 
the displacing of Waade, the placing of Helwisse, 
the displacing of Gary the under-keeper, the 
placing of Weston, and the first poison given two 
days after. 

Then when they had this poor gentleman in the 
Tower close prisoner, where he could not escape 


nor stir, where he could not feed but by their 
hands, where he could not speak nor write but 
through their trunks ; then was the time to execute 
the last act of this tragedy. 

Then must Franklin be purveyor of the poisons, 
and procure five, six, seven several potions, to be sure 
to hit his complexion. Then must Mrs. Turner be the 
say-mistress of the poisons to try upon poor beasts, 
what is present, and what works at distance of time. 
Then must Weston be the tormentor, and chase him 
with poison after poison ; poison in salts, poison in 
meats, poison in sweetmeats, poison in medicines and 
vomits, until at last his body was almost come, by 
use of poisons, to the state that Mithridates s body 
was by the use of treacle and preservatives, that the 
force of the poisons, were blunted upon him : Wes 
ton confessing, when he was chid for not dispatching 
him, that he had given him enough to poison twenty 
men. Lastly, because all this asked time, courses 
were taken by Somerset, both to divert all means of 
Overbury s delivery, and to entertain Overbury by 
continual letters, partly of hopes and projects for 
his delivery, and partly of other fables and negocia- 
tions ; somewhat like some kind of persons, which I 
will not name, which keep men in talk of fortune- 
telling, when they have a felonious meaning. 

And this is the true narrative of this act of ira- 
poisonment, which I have summarily recited. 

Now for the distribution of the proofs, there are 
four heads of proofs to prove you guilty, my lord of 
Somerset, of this impoisonment ; whereof two are 


precedent to the imprisonment, the third is pre 
sent, and the fourth is following or subsequent. 
For it is in proofs as it is in lights, there is a di 
rect light, and there is a reflexion of light, or back 

The first head or proof thereof is, That there 
was a root of bitterness, a mortal malice or hatred, 
mixed with deep and bottomless fears, that you had 
towards Sir Thomas Overbury. 

The second is, That you were the principal actor, 
and had your hand in all those acts, which did con 
duce to the impoisomnent, and which gave op 
portunity and means to effect it ; and without 
which the impoisomnent could never have been, 
and which could serve or tend to no other end but 
to the impoisonment. 

The third is, That your hand was in the very 
impoisonment itself, which is more than needs to be 
proved ; that you did direct poison ; that you did 
deliver poison ; that you did continually hearken to 
the success of the impoisonraent ; and that you 
spurred it on, and called for dispatch when you 
thought it lingered. 

And lastly, That you did all the things after the 
impoisonment, which may detect a guilty conscience, 
for the smothering of it, and avoiding punishment 
for it : which can be but of three kinds ; That you 
suppressed, as much as in you was, testimony : That 
you did deface, and destroy, and clip and misdate 
all writings that might give light to the impoison 
ment ; and that you did fly to the altar of guiltiness, 


which is a pardon, and a pardon of murder, and 
a pardon for yourself, and not for your lady. 

In this, my lord, I convert my speech to you, be 
cause I would have you attend the points of your 
charge, and so of your defence the better. And two 
of these heads I have taken to myself, and left the 
other two to the King s two Serjeants. 

For the first main part,which is. the mortal hatred, 
coupled with fear, that was in my lord of Somerset 
towards Overbury. although he did palliate it with 
a great deal of hypocrisy and dissimulation even to the 
end ; I shall prove it, my lord Steward, and you my 
lords and peers, manifestly, by matter both of oath 
and writing. The root of this hatred was that that 
hath cost many a man s life, that is, fear of discover 
ing secrets : secrets I say, of a high and dangerous 
nature : Wherein the course that I will hold, shall 

be this : 

First, I will shew that such a breach and m< 
was between my lord and Overbury, and that it 
burst forth into violent menaces and threats on both 


Secondly, That these secrets were not light, but 
of a high nature; for I will give you the elevatic 
of the pok. They were such as my lord of Somer 
set for his part had made a vow, that Oerbury 
should neither live in court nor country. That he 
had likewise opened himself and his own fears so far. 
that if Overbury ever came forth of the Tower, 
either Overburv or himself must die for it. And 


Overbury s part, he had threatened my lord, that 
whether lie did live or die, my lord s shame should 
never die, but he would leave him the most odious 
man of the world. And farther, that my lord was 
like enough to repent it, in the place where Over- 
bury wrote, which was the Tower of London. He 
was a true prophet in that : so here is the height of 
the secrets. 

Thirdly, I will shew you, that all the king s bu 
siness was by my lord put into Overbury s hands ; 
so as there is work enough for secrets, whatsoever 
they were : and like princes confederates, they had 
their ciphers and jargons. 

And lastly, I will shew you that it is but a toy 
to say that the malice was only in respect he spake 
dishonourably of the lady ; or for doubt of breaking 
the marriage : for that Overbury was a coadjutor to 
that love, and the lord of Somerset was as deep in 
speaking ill of the lady as Overbury. And again, 
it was too late for that matter, for the bargain of 
the match was then made and past. And if it had 
been no more but to remove Overbury from disturb 
ing of the match, it had been an easy matter to have 
banded over Overbury beyond seas, for which they 
had a fair way; but that would not serve their 

And lastly, " periculum periculo vincitur", to go 
so far as an impoisonment, must have a deeper malice 
than flashes : for the cause must bear a proportion 
to the effect. 

For the next general head of proofs, which con- 


sists in acts preparatory to the middle acts, they are 
in eight several points of the compass, as I may 
term it. 

First, That there were devices and projects to 
dispatch Overbury, or to overthrow him, plotted 
between the countess of Somerset, the earl of Somer 
set, and the earl of Northampton, before they fell 
upon the impoisonment : for always before men fix 
upon a course of mischief, there be some rejections : 
but die he must one way or other. 

Secondly, That my lord of Somerset was a prin 
cipal practiser, I must speak it, in a most perfidious 
manner, to set a train or trap for Overbury to get 
him into the Tower ; without which they never 
durst have attempted the impoisonment. 

Thirdly, That the placing of the lieutenant 
Helwisse, one of the impoisoners, and the dis 
placing of Waade, was by the means of my lord of 

Fourthly, That the placing of Weston the un- 
derkeeper, who was the principal impoisoner, and 
the displacing of Gary, and the doing of all this 
within fifteen days after Overbury s commitment,was 
by the means and countenance of my lord of Somer 
set. And these two were the active instruments 
of the impoisonment : and this was a business that 
the lady s power could not reach unto. 

Fifthly, That because there must be a time for 
the tragedy to be acted, and chiefly because they 
would not have the poisons work upon the sudden ; 
and for that the strength of Overbury s nature, or 


the very custom of receiving poison into his body, 
did overcome the poisons, that they wrought not 
so fast ; therefore Overbury must be held in the 
Tower. And as my lord of Somerset got him into 
the trap, so he kept him in, and abused him with 
continual hopes of liberty ; and diverted all the 
true and effectual means of his liberty, and made 
light of his sickness and extremities. 

Sixthly, That not only the plot of getting Over- 
bury into the Tower, and the devices to hold him 
and keep him there ; but the strange manner of his 
close keeping, being in but for a contempt, was by 
the device and means of my lord of Somerset, who 
denied his father to see him, denied his servants that 
offered to be shut up close prisoners with him ; and 
in effect handled it so, that he was close prisoner 
to all his friends, and open and exposed to all his 

Seventhly, That the advertisement which my 
lady received from time to time from the lieutenant 
or Weston, touching Overbury s state of body or 
health, were ever sent up to the court, though it 
were in progress, and that from my lady : such a 
thirst and listening this lord had to hear that he was 

Lastly, There was a continual negociation to set 
Overbury s head on work, that he should make some 
recognition to clear the honour of the lady; and 
that he should become a good instrument towards 
her and her friends : all which was but entertain 
ment ; for your lordships shall plainly see divers of 


my lord of Northampton s letters, whose hand was 
deep in this business, written, I must say it, in dark 
words and clauses ; that there was one thing pre 
tended and another intended ; that there was a real 
charge, and there was somewhat not real ; a main 
drift, and a dissimulation. Nay farther, there be 
some passages which the peers in their wisdom will 
discern to point directly at the impoisonment. 
After this inducement followed the evidence itself.] 

It may please your most excellent Majesty, 

AT my last access to your majesty, it was fit for me 
to consider the time and your journey, which maketh 
me now trouble your majesty with a remnant of 
that I thought then to have said : besides your old 
warrant and commission to me, to advertise your 
majesty when you are " aux champs," of any thing 
that concerned your service and my place. I know 
your majesty is " nunquam minus solus, quam cum 
solus ;" and I confess, in regard of your great 
judgment, under which nothing ought to be pre 
sented but well weighed, I could almost wish that 
the manner of Tiberius were in use again, of whom 
Tacitus saith, " Mos erat quamvis praesentem 
scripto adire ;" much more in absence. I said 
to your majesty that which I do now repeat, that the 
evidence upon which my lord of Somerset standeth 
indicted is of a good strong thread, considering im- 


poisoning is the darkest of offences ; but that the 
thread must be well spun and woven together ; for, 
your majesty knoweth, it is one thing to deal with a 
jury of Middlesex and Londoners, and another to 
deal with the peers ; whose objects perhaps will not 
be so much what is before them in the present case, 
which I think is as odious to them as to the vulgar, 
but what may be hereafter. Besides, there be two 
disadvantages, we that shall give in evidence shall 
meet with, somewhat considerable ; the one, that the 
same things often opened lose their freshness, ex 
cept there be an aspersion of somewhat that is new ; 
the other is the expectation raised, which makes 
things seem less than they are, because they are less 
than opinion. Therefore I were not your attorney, 
nor myself, if I should not be very careful, that in 
this last part, which is the pinnacle of your former 
justice, all things may pass " sine offendiculo, sine 
scrupulo." Hereupon I did move two things, which, 
having now more fully explained myself, I do in all 
humbleness renew. First, that your majesty will be 
careful to choose a steward of judgment, that may 
be able to moderate the evidence and cut off digres 
sions ; for I may interrupt, but I cannot silence : 
the other, that there may be special care taken for 
the ordering the evidence, not only for the knitting, 
but for the list, and, to use your majesty s own 
words, the confining of it. This to do, if your ma 
jesty vouchsafe to direct it yourself, that is the best ; 
if not, I humbly pray you to require my lord chan 
cellor, that he, together with my lord chief justice, 


will confer with myself, and my fellows, that shall 
be used for the marshalling and bounding of the 
evidence, that we may have the help of his opinion, 
as well as that of my lord chief justice; whose great 
travels as I much commend, yet that same " plero- 
phoria," or over-confidence, doth always subject 
things to a great deal of chance. 

There is another business proper for me to crave 
of your majesty at this time, as one that have in my 
eye a great deal of service to be done concerning 
your casual revenue ; but considering times arid per 
sons, I desire to be strengthened by some such form 
of commandment under your royal hand, as I send 
you here inclosed. I most humbly pray your ma 
jesty to think, I understand myself right well in this 
which I desire, and that it tendeth greatly to the 
good of your service. The warrant I mean not to 
impart, but upon just occasion ; thus thirsty to hear 
of your majesty s good health, I rest 

22 Jan. 61 15. 



I THOUGHT it convenient to give his majesty an 
account of that which his majesty gave me in charge 
in general, reserving the particulars for his coming ; 
and I find it necessary to know his pleasure in some 
things ere I could farther proceed. 

My lord chancellor and myself spent Thursday 
and yesterday, the whole forenoons of both days, 


in the examination of Sir Robert Cotton ; whom we 
find hitherto but empty, save only in the great point 
of the treaty with Spain. 

This examination was taken before his majesty s 
warrant came to Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, for commu 
nicating unto us the secrets of the pensions ; which 
warrant I received yesterday morning being Friday, 
and a meeting was appointed at my lord chancellor s 
in the evening after council ; upon which conference 
we find matter of farther examination for Sir Robert 
Cotton, of some new articles whereupon to examine 
Somerset, and of entering into examination of Sir 
William Mounson. 

Wherefore, first for Somerset, being now ready 
to proceed to examine him, we stay only upon the 
duke of Lenox, who it seemeth is fallen sick and 
keepeth in ; without whom, we neither think it war 
ranted by his majesty s direction, nor agreeable to 
his intention, that we should proceed ; for that will 
want, which should sweeten the cup of medicine, he 
being his countryman and friend. Herein then we 
humbly crave his majesty s direction with all conve 
nient speed, whether we shall expect the duke s re 
covery, or proceed by ourselves ; or that his majesty 
will think of some other person, qualified accord 
ing to his majesty s just intention, to be joined with 
us. I remember we had speech with his majesty of 
my lord Hay ; and I, for my part, can think of no 
other, except it should be my lord chancellor of 
Scotland, for my lord Binning may be thought too 
near allied. 


I am farther to know his majesty s pleasure con 
cerning the day ; for my lord chancellor and I con 
ceived his majesty to have designed the Monday and 
Tuesday after St. George s feast ; and nevertheless 
we conceived also, that his majesty understood 
that the examinations of Somerset about this, and 
otherwise touching the Spanish practices, should 
first be put to a point ; which will not be possi 
ble, as time cometh on, by reason of this accident of 
the duke s sickness, and the cause we find of Sir 
William Mounson s examination, and that divers of 
the peers are to be sent for from remote places. 

It may please his majesty therefore to take into 
consideration, whether the days may not well be 
put off till Wednesday and Thursday after the term, 
which endetli on the Monday, being the Wednes 
day and Thursday before Whitsuntide ; or, if that 
please not his majesty, in respect, it may be, his 
majesty will be then in town, whereas these arraign 
ments have been still in his majesty s absence from 
town, then to take Monday and Tuesday after Tri 
nity Sunday, being the Monday and Tuesday before 
Trinity term. 

Now for Sir William Mounson, if it be his ma 
jesty s pleasure that my lord chancellor and I shall 
proceed to the examination of him, for that of the 
duke of Lenox differs, in that there is not the like 
cause as in that of Somerset, then his majesty may 
be pleased to direct his commandment and warrant 
to my lord chief justice, to deliver unto me the ex 
amination he took of Sir William Mounson, that 


those, joined to the information which we have re 
ceived from Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, may be full in 
structions unto us for his examination. Farther, I 
pray let his majesty know, that on Thursday in the 
evening my lord chief justice and myself attended 
my lord chancellor at his house for the settling 
that scruple which his majesty most justly con 
ceived in the examination of the lady Somerset ; at 
which time, resting on his majesty s opinion, that 
that evidence, as it standeth now uncleared, must 
" secundum leges sanae eonscientias" be laid aside ; 
the question was, whether we should leave it out, or 
try what a re-examination of my lady Somerset 
would produce? Whereupon we agreed upon a re-ex 
amination of my lady Somerset, which my lord chief 
justice and I have appointed for Monday morning. 
I was bold at that meeting to put my lord chief 
justice a posing question ; which was, Whether that 
opinion which his brethren had given upon the whole 
evidence, and he had reported to his majesty, namely, 
that it was good evidence, in their opinions, to con 
vict my lord of Somerset, was not grounded upon 
this part of the evidence now to be omitted, as well 
as upon the rest : who answered positively, No ; and 
they never saw the exposition of the letter, but the 
letter only. 

The same Thursday evening, before we entered 
into this last matter, and in the presence of Mr. Se 
cretary Winwood, who left us when we went to the 
former business, we had conference concerning the 
frauds and abusive grants passed to the prejudice of 


his majesty s state of revenue ; where my lord chief 
justice made some relation of his collections which 
he had made of that kind ; of which I will only say 
this, that I heard nothing that was new to me, and I 
found my lord chancellor in divers particulars, more 
ready than I had found him. We grew to a distribu 
tion both of times and of matters, for we agreed what 
to begin with presently, and what should follow, and 
also we had consideration what was to be holpen by 
law, what by equity, and what by parliament ; 
wherein I must confess, that in the last of these, of 
which my lord chief justice made most account, I 
make most doubt. But the conclusion was, that 
upon this entrance I should advise and confer at large 
with my lord chief justice, and set things in work. 
The particulars I refer till his majesty s coming. 

The learned counsel have now attended me twice 
at my chamber, to confer upon that which is ma 
jesty gave us in commandment for our opinion 
upon the case set down by my lord chancellor, 
whether the statutes extend to it or no ; wherein 
we are more and more edified and confirmed that 
they do not, and shall shortly send our report to his 

Sir, I hope you will bear me witness I have not 
been idle ; but all is nothing to the duty I owe his 
majesty for his singular favours past and present ; 
supplying all with love and prayers, I rest, 

Your true friend and devoted servant, 
April 13, 1616. FR. BACON. 





I RECEIVED from you a letter of very brief and 
clear directions ; and I think it a great blessing of 
God upon me and my labours, that my directions 
come by so clear a conduit, as they receive no tinc 
ture in the passage. 

Yesterday my lord chancellor, the duke of Lenox, 
and myself, spent the whole afternoon at the Tower, 
in the examination of Somerset, upon the articles 
sent from his majesty, and some other additional, 
which were in effect contained in the former, but ex 
tended to more particularity, by occasion of some 
what discovered by Cotton s examination and Mr. 
Vice-Chamberlain s information. 

He is full of protestations, and would fain keep 
that quarter toward Spain clear : using but this 
for argument, that he had such fortunes from his 
majesty, as he could not think of bettering his 
conditions from Spain, because, as he said, he was no 
military man. He cometh nothing so far on, for 
that which concerneth the treaty, as Cotton, which 
cloth much aggravate suspicion against him : the far 
ther particulars I reserve to his majesty s coming. 

In the end, " tanquam obiter," but very ef 
fectually, my lord chancellor put him in mind of the 
state he stood in for the impoisonment ; but he was 
little moved with it, and pretended carelessness of 
life, since ignominy had made him unfit for his ma- 


jesty s service. I am of opinion that the fair usage 
of him, as it was fit for the Spanish examinations, 
and for the questions touching the papers and dis 
patches, and all that, so it was no good prepara 
tive to make him descend into himself touching his 
present danger : and therefore my lord chancellor 
and myself thought not good to insist upon it at this 

I have received from my lord chief justice the 
examination of Sir William Mounson ; with whom 
we mean to proceed to farther examination with all 

My lord chief justice is altered touching the re- 
examination of the lady, and desired me that we 
might stay till he spake with his majesty, saying it 
could be no casting back to the business ; which I 
did approve. 

Myself with the rest of my fellows, upon due 
and mature advice, perfected our report touching 
the chancery ; for the receiving whereof, I pray you 
put his majesty in mind at his coming, to appoint 
some time for us to wait upon him altogether, for 
the delivery in of the same, as we did in our former 

For the revenue matters, I reserve them to his 
majesty s coming; and in the mean time I doubt 
not but Mr. Secretary Winwood will make some 
kind of report thereof to his majesty. 

For the conclusion of your letter concerning my 
own comfort, I can but say the Psalm of " Quid re- 
tribuam?" God that giveth me favour in his ma- 


jesty s eyes, will strengthen me in his majesty s ser 
vice. I ever rest 

Your true and devoted servant, 
April 18, 1616. FR. BACON. 

To requite your postscript of excuse for scrib 
bling, I pray you excuse that the paper is not gilt, 
I writing from Westminster-Hall, where we are not 
so fine. 


It may please your most excellent Majesty, 

YOUR MAJESTY hath put me upon a work of pro 
vidence in this great cause, which is to break and 
distinguish future events into present cases ; and so 
to present them to your royal judgment, that, in 
this action, which hath been carried with so great 
prudence, justice, and clemency, there may be, for 
that which remaineth, as little surprise as is possible ; 
but that things duly foreseen may have their remedies 
and directions in readiness ; wherein I cannot forget 
what the poet Martial saith ; " O quantum est su- 
bitis casibus ingenium !" signifying, that accident is 
many times more subtle than foresight, and over- 
reacheth expectation ; and besides, I know very well 
the meanness of my own judgment, in comprehend 
ing or forecasting what may follow. 

It was your majesty s pleasure also, that I should 
couple the suppositions with my opinion in every of 
them, which is a harder task ; but yet your ma- 


jesty s commandment requireth my obedience, and 
your trust giveth me assurance. 

I will put the case, which I wish ; that Somerset 
should make a clear confession of his offences, before 
he be produced to trial. 

In this case it seemeth your majesty will have a 
new consult; the points whereof will be, 1. Whether 
your majesty will stay the trial, and so save them 
both from the stage, and that public ignominy. 2. Or 
whether you will, or may fitly by law, have the trial 
proceed, and stay or reprieve the judgment, which 
saveth the lands from forfeiture, and the blood from 
corruption. 3. Or whether you will have both trial 
and judgment proceed, and save the blood only, not 
from corrupting, but from spilling. 

These be the depths of your majesty s mercy 
which I may not enter into : but for honour and re 
putation they have these grounds : 

That the blood of Overbury is already revenged 
by divers executions. 

That confession and penitency are the footstools 
of mercy ; adding this circumstance likewise, that 
the former offenders did none of them make a clear 

That the great downfal of so great persons 
carrieth in itself a heavy judgment, and a kind 
of civil death, although their lives should not be 

All which may satisfy honour for sparing their 
lives. But if your majesty s mercy should extend 
to the first degree, which is the highest, of sparing 


the stage and the trial ; then three things are to be 
considered : 

First, That they make such a submission or de 
precation, as they prostrate themselves, and all that 
they have, at your majesty s feet, imploring your 

Secondly, That your majesty, in your own wis 
dom, do advise what course you will take, for the 
utter extinguishing of all hopes of resuscitating of 
their fortunes and favour ; whereof if there should 
be the least conceit, it will leave in men a great deal 
of envy and discontent. 

And lastly ; whether your majesty will not suffer 
it to be thought abroad, that there is cause of far 
ther examination of Somerset, concerning matters of 
estate, after he shall begin once to be a confessant, 
and so make as well a politic ground, as a ground of 
clemency, for farther stay. 

And for the second degree, of proceeding to 
trial, and staying judgment, I must better inform 
myself by precedents, and advise with my lord 

The second case is, if that fall out which is likest, 
as things stand, and which we expect, which is, that 
the lady confess ; and that Somerset himself plead 
not guilty, and be found guilty : 

In this case, first, I suppose your majesty will 
not think of any stay of judgment, but that the pub 
lic process of justice pass on. 

Secondly, For your mercy to be extended to 
both for pardon of their execution, I have partly 


touched in the considerations applied to the former 
case ; whereunto may be added, that as there is 
ground of mercy for her, upon her penitency and 
free confession, and will be much more upon his 
finding guilty ; because the malice on his part will 
be thought the deeper source of the offence ; so 
there will be ground for mercy on his part, upon the 
nature of the proof; and because it rests chiefly 
upon presumptions. For certainly there may be an 
evidence so balanced, as it may have sufficient mat 
ter for the conscience of the peers to convict 
him, and yet leave sufficient matter in the con 
science of a king upon the same evidence to par 
don his life ; because the peers are astringed by 
necessity either to acquit or condemn ; but grace is 
free : and for my part, I think the evidence in this 
present case will be of such a nature. 

Thirdly, It shall be my care so to moderate the 
manner of charging him, as it might make him not 
odious beyond the extent of mercy. 

Lastly, All these points of mercy and favour are 
to be understood with this limitation, if he do not, 
by his contemptuous and insolent carriage at the 
bar, make himself incapable and unworthy of them. 

The third case is, if he should stand mute and 
will not plead, whereof, your majesty knoweth, there 
hath been some secret question. 

In this case I should think fit, that, as in public, 
both myself, and chiefly my lord chancellor, sitting 
then as lord Steward of England, should dehort and 
deter him from that desperation ; so nevertheless, 
that as much should be done for him, as was done 


for Weston; which was to adjourn the court for 
some days, upon a Christian ground, that he may 
have time to turn from that mind of destroying him 
self; during which time your majesty s farther plea 
sure may be known. 

The fourth case is that which I should be very 
sorry it should happen, but it is a future contingent; 
that is, if the peers should acquit him and find him 
not guilty. 

In this case the lord Steward must be provided 
what to do. For as it hath been never seen, as I 
conceive it, that there should be any rejecting of the 
verdict, or any respiting of the judgment of the 
acquittal ; so on the other side this case requireth, 
that because there be many high and heinous offences, 
though not capital, for which he may be questioned 
in the Star-chamber, or otherwise, that there be 
some touch of that in general at the conclusion, by 
my lord Steward of England ; and that therefore he 
be remanded to the Tower as close prisoner. 

For the matter of examination, or other pro 
ceedings, my lord chancellor with my advice hath 
set down, 

To-morrow, being Monday, for the re-examina 
tion of the lady : 

Wednesday next, for the meeting of the judges 
concerning the evidence : 

Thursday, for the examination of Somerset him 
self, according to your majesty s instructions : 

Which three parts, when they shall be performed, 
I will give your majesty advertisement with speed, 
and in the mean time be glad to receive from your 


majesty, whom it is my part to inform truly, such 
directions or significations of your pleasure as this 
advertsement may induce, and that with speed* 
because the time cometh on. Well remembering 
who is the person whom your majesty admitted to 
this secret, I have sent this letter open unto him, 
that he may take your majesty s times to report it, 
or shew it unto you ; assuring myself that nothing 
is more firm than his trust, tied to your majesty s 

Your majesty s most humble 
and most bounden subject and servant, 

April 28, 1616. 



I HAVE received my letter from his majesty with his 
marginal notes, which shall be my directions, being 
glad to perceive I understand his majesty so well. 
That same little charm, which may be secretly in 
fused into Somerset s ear some few hours before his 
trial, was excellently well thought of by his majesty ; 
and I do approve it both for matter and time ; only 
if it seem good to his majesty, I would wish it a 
little enlarged : for if it be no more than to spare 
his blood, he hath a kind of proud humour which 
may overwork the medicine. Therefore I could 
wish it were made a little stronger, by giving him 
some hopes that his majesty will be good to his lady 


and child; and that time, when justice and his 
majesty s honour is once saved and satisfied, may 
produce farther fruit of his majesty s compassion : 
which was to be seen in the example of South 
ampton, whom his majesty after attainder restored : 
and Cobham and Gray, to whom his majesty, not 
withstanding they were offenders against his own 
person, yet he spared their lives ; and for Gray, his 
majesty gave him back some part of his estate, and 
was upon point to deliver him much more. He 
having been so highly in his majesty s favour, may 
hope well, if he hurt not himself by his public mis 

For the person that should deliver this message, 
I am not so well seen in the region of his friends, as 
to be able to make choice of a particular ; my lord 
treasurer, the lord Knollys, or any of his nearest 
friends, should not be trusted with it, for they may 
go too far, and perhaps work contrary to his 
majesty s ends. Those which occur to me, are my 
lord Hay, my lord Burleigh, of England I mean, and 
Sir Robert Carre. 

My lady Somerset hath been re-examined, and 
his majesty is found both a true prophet and a most 
just king in that scruple he made ; for now she ex- 
poundeth the word He, that should send the tarts 
to Elwys s wife, to be of Overbury, and not of 
Somerset ; but for the person that should bid her, 
she said it was Northampton or Weston, not pitching 
upon certainty, which giveth some advantage to the 


Yesterday being Wednesday, I spent four or five 
hours with the judges whom his majesty designed 
to take consideration with, the four judges of the 
king s bench, of the evidence against Somerset : 
they all concur in opinion, that the questioning and 
drawing him on to trial is most honourable and just, 
and that the evidence is fair and good. 

His majesty s letter to the judges concerning the 
" Commendams" was full of magnanimity and 
wisdom. I perceive his majesty is never less alone, 
than when he is alone ; for I am sure there was no 
body by him to inform him, which made me admire 
it the more. 

The judges have given a day over, till the second 
Saturday of the next term ; so as that matter may 
endure farther consideration, for his majesty not only 
not to lose ground, but to win ground. 

To-morrow is appointed for the examination of 
Somerset, which by some infirmity of the duke of 
Lenox was put off from this day. When this is 
done, I will write more fully, ever resting 

Your true and devoted servant, 


May ( l, 1616. 



I AM far enough from opinion, that the redintegra 
tion or resuscitation of Somerset s fortune can ever 
stand with his majesty s honour and safety ; and 


therein I think I expressed myself fully to his 
majesty in one of my former letters ; and I know 
well any expectation or thought abroad will do 
much hurt. But yet the glimmering of that which 
the king hath done to others, by way of talk to him, 
cannot hurt, as I conceive ; but I would not have 
that part of the message as from the king, but 
added by the messenger as from himself. This I 
remit to his majesty s princely judgment. 

For the person, though he trust the lieutenant 
well, yet it must be some new man : for, in these 
cases, that which is ordinary worketh not so great 
impressions as that which is new and extraordinary. 

The time I wish to be the Tuesday, being the 
even of his lady s arraignment ; for, as his majesty 
first conceived, I would not have it stay in his sto 
mach too long, lest it sour in the digestion ; and to 
be too near the time, may be thought but to tune 
him for that day. 

I send here withal the substance of that which I 
purpose to say nakedly, and only in that part which 
is of tenderness ; for that I conceive was his ma 
jesty s meaning. 

It will be necessary, because I have distributed 
parts to the two Serjeants, as that paper doth ex 
press, and they understand nothing of his majesty s 
pleasure of the manner of carrying the evidence 
more than they may guess by observation of my ex 
ample, which they may ascribe as much to my na 
ture as to direction ; therefore that his majesty 
would be pleased to write some few words to us all, 


signed with his own hand, that, the matter itself 
being tragical enough, bitterness and insulting be 
forborn ; and that we remember our part to be to 
make him delinquent to the peers, and not odious to 
the people. That part of the evidence of the lady s 
exposition of the pronoun, he, which was first caught 
hold of by me, and afterwards by his majesty s sin 
gular wisdom and conscience excepted to, and now 
is by her re-examination retracted, I have given 
order to serjeant Montague, within whose part it 
falleth, to leave it out of the evidence. I do yet 
crave pardon, if I do not certify touching the point 
of law for respiting the judgment, for I have not 
fully advised with my lord chancellor concerning 
it, but I will advertise it in time. 

I send his majesty the lord steward s commission 
in two several instruments, the one to remain with my 
lord chancellor, which is that which is written in se 
cretary-hand for his warrant, and is to pass the 
signet ; the other, that whereunto the great seal is 
to be affixed, which is in chancery-hand : his ma 
jesty is to sign them both, and to transmit the former 
to the signet, if the secretaries either of them be 
there ; and both of them are to be returned to me 
with all speed. I ever rest, 

Your true and devoted servant, 

May 5, 1616. 



It may please your Majesty, 

WE have done our best endeavours to perform 
your majesty s commission, both in matter and man 
ner, for the examination of my lord of Somerset ; 
wherein that which passed, for the general, was to 
this effect ; That he was to know his own case, for 
that his day of trial could not be far off; but that 
this day s work was that which would conduce to 
your majesty s justice little or nothing, but to 
your mercy much, if he did lay hold upon it ; 
and therefore might do him good, but could do 
him no hurt. For as for your justice, there had 
been taken great and grave opinion, not only 
of such judges as he may think violent, but of 
the most sad and most temperate of the kingdom, 
who ought to understand the state of the proofs, 
that the evidence was full to convict him, so as 
there needeth neither confession, nor supply of exa 
mination. But for your majesty s mercy, although 
he were not to expect we should make any promise, 
we did assure him, that your majesty was com 
passionate of him if he gave you some ground 
whereon to work ; that as long as he stood upon his 
innoconcy and trial, your majesty was tied in honour 
to proceed according to justice; and that he little 
understood, being a close prisoner, how much the 
expectation of the world, besides your love to justice 
itself, engaged your majesty, whatsoever your incli- 


nations were : but nevertheless that a frank and 
clear confession might open the gate of mercy, and 
help to satisfy the point of honour. 

That his lady, as he knew, and that after many 
oaths and imprecations to the contrary, had never 
theless in the end, being touched with remorse, con 
fessed ; that she that led him to offend, might lead 
him likewise to repent of his offence : that the con 
fession of one of them could not fitly do either of 
them much good, but the confession of both of them 
might work some farther effect towards both : and 
therefore, in conclusion, we wished him not to shut 
the gate of your majesty s mercy against himself, by 
being obdurate any longer. This was the effect of 
that which was spoken, part by one of us, part by 
another, as it fell out ; adding farther, that he might 
well discern who spake in us in the course we held ; 
for that commissioners for examination might not 
presume so far of themselves. 

Not to trouble your majesty with circumstances 
of his answers, the sequel was no other, but that we 
found him still not to come any degree farther on to 
confess ; only his behaviour was very sober, and 
modest, and mild, differing apparently from other 
times, but yet, as it seemed, resolved to have his 

Then did we proceed to examine him upon divers 
questions touching the empoison ment, which indeed 
were very material and supplemental to the former 
evidence ; wherein either his affirmatives gave some 


light, or his negatives do greatly falsify him in that 
which is apparently proved. 

We made this farther observation ; that when we 
asked him some question that did touch the prince 
or some foreign practice, which we did very spar 
ingly at this time, yet he grew a little stirred, but 
in the questions of the impoisonment very cold and 
modest. Thus not thinking it necessary to trouble 
your majesty with any farther particulars, we end 
with prayer to God ever to preserve your majesty. 

Your majesty s most loyal and faithful servant, 


Postscript. If it seem good unto your majesty, 
we think it not amiss some preacher, well chosen, 
had access to my lord of Somerset for his preparing 
and comfort, although it be before his trial. 



I SEND you inclosed a warrant for my lady of 
Somerset s pardon, reformed in that main and mate 
rial point, of inserting a clause that she was not a 
principal, but an accessary before the fact, by the 
instigation of base persons.^ Her friends think long 
to have it dispatched, which I marvel not at, for that 
in matter of life moments are numbered. 

I do more and more take contentment in his ma 
jesty s choice of Sir Oliver St. John, for his deputy 


of Ireland, finding upon divers conferences with him, 
his great sufficiency ; and I hope the good intelli 
gence, which he purposeth to hold with me hy adver 
tisements from time to time, shall work a good effect 
for his majesty s service. 

I am wonderful desirous to see that kingdom 
flourish, because it is the proper work and glory of 
his majesty and his times. And his majesty may be 
pleased to call to mind, that a good while since, 
when the great rent and divisions were in the parlia 
ment of Ireland, I was no unfortunate remembrancer 
to his majesty s princely wisdom in that business. 
God ever keep you and prosper you. 

Your true and most devoted and bounden servant, 











IT may please your good lordship, I cannot be igno 
rant, and ought to be sensible of the wrong which I 
sustain in common speech, as if I had been false or 
unthankful to that noble, but unfortunate earl, the 
earl of Essex : and for satisfying the vulgar sort, I 
do not so much regard it ; though I love a good 
name, but yet as an handmaid and attendant of ho 
nesty and virtue. For I am of his opinion that said 
pleasantly, " That it was a shame to him that was 
a suitor to the mistress, to make love to the wait 
ing-woman ;" and therefore to woo or court com 
mon fame, otherwise than it followeth on honest 
courses, I, for my part, find not myself fit or dis 
posed. But, on the other side, there is no worldly 
thing that concerneth myself, which I hold more 
dear than the good opinion of certain persons ; 
among which there is none I would more willingly 
give satisfaction unto, than to your lordship. First, 
because you loved my lord of Essex, and therefore 
will not be partial towards me, which is part of that 


I desire : next, because it hath ever pleased you to 
shew yourself to me an honourable friend, and so no 
baseness in me to seek to satisfy you : and lastly, 
because I know your lordship is excellently grounded 
in the true rules and habits of duties and moralities, 
which must be they which shall decide this matter ; 
wherein, my lord, my defence needeth to be but sim 
ple and brief; namely, that whatsoever I did con 
cerning that action and proceeding, was done in my 
duty and service to the queen and the state ; in which 
I would not shew myself false-hearted, nor faint 
hearted, for any man s sake living. For every honest 
man that hath his heart well planted, will forsake his 
king rather than forsake God, and forsake his friend 
rather than forsake his king ; and yet will forsake 
any earthly commodity, yea, and his own life in some 
cases, rather than forsake his friend. I hope the 
world hath not forgotten these degrees, else the 
heathen saying, " Amicus usque ad aras," shall judge 

And if any man shall say, I did officiously intrude 
myself into that business, because I had no ordinary 
place ; the like may be said of all the business in 
effect that passed the hands of the learned counsel, 
either of state or revenues, these many years, wherein 
I was continually used. For, as your lordship may 
remember, the queen knew her strength so well, as 
she looked her word should be a warrant ; and, after 
the manner of the choicest princes before her, did 
not always tie her trust to place, but did sometime 
divide private favour from office. And I for my part, 


though I was not so unseen in the world, but I 
knew the condition was subject to envy and peril ; 
yet because I knew again she was constant in her 
favours, and made an end where she began; and 
especially because she upheld me with extraordinary 
access, and other demonstrations of confidence and 
grace, I resolved to endure it in expectation of bet 
ter. But my scope and desire is, that your lordship 
would be pleased to have the honourable patience to 
know the truth, in some particularity, of all that 
passed in this cause, wherein I had any part, that 
you may perceive how honest a heart I ever bare to 
my sovereign, and to my country, and to that noble 
man, who had so well deserved of me, and so well 
accepted of my deservings, whose fortune I cannot 
remember without much grief. But for any action 
of mine towards him, there is nothing that passed 
me in my life-time, that cometh to my remembrance 
with more clearness, and less check of conscience; 
for it will appear to your lordship, that I was not 
only not opposite to my lord of Essex, but that I 
did occupy the utmost of my wits, and adventure my 
fortune with the queen, to have reintegrated his, and 
so continued faithfully and industriously, till his last 
fatal impatience, for so I will call it, after which day 
there was not time to work for him ; though the 
same, my affection, when it could not work on the 
subject proper, went to the next, with no ill effect 
towards some others, who I think, do rather not 
know it, than not acknowledge it. And this I will 
assure your lordship, I will leave nothing untold, 


that is truth, for any enemy that I have, to add ; 
and on the other side, I must reserve much which 
makes for me, in many respects of duty, which I 
esteem above my credit : and what I have here set 
down to your lordship, I protest, as I hope to have 
any part in God s favour, is true. 

It is well known, how I did many years since 
dedicate my travels and studies to the use, and, as I 
may term it, service of my lord of Essex, which, I 
protest before God, I did not, making election of 
him as the likeliest mean of mine own advancement, 
but out of the humour of a man, that ever from the 
time I had any use of reason, whether it were read 
ing upon good books, or upon the example of a 
good father, or by nature, I loved my country more 
than was answerable to my fortune ; and I held at 
that time my lord to be the fittest instrument to do 
good to the state, and therefore I applied myself to 
him in a manner which I think happeneth rarely 
among men : for I did not only labour carefully and 
industriously in that he set me about, whether it 
were matter of advice or otherwise, but, neglecting 
the queen s service, mine own fortune, and in a sort 
my vocation, I did nothing but advise and ruminate 
with myself, to the best of my understanding, pro 
positions and memorials of any thing that might 
concern his lordship s honour, fortune, or service. 
And when, not long after I entered into this course, 
my brother, Mr. Anthony Bacon came from beyond 
the seas, being a gentleman whose ability the world 
taketh knowledge of for matters of state, especially 


foreign, I did likewise knit his service to be at my 
lord s disposing. And on the other side, I must and 
will ever acknowledge my lord s love, trust, and fa 
vour towards me ; and last of all his liberality, hav 
ing infeoffed me of land which I sold for eighteen 
hundred pounds to Mr. Reynold Nicholas, which, I 
think, was more worth ; and that at such a time, 
and with so kind and noble circumstances, as the 
manner was as much as the matter ; which, though 
it be but an idle digression, yet because I am not 
willing to be short in commemoration of his be 
nefits, I will presume to trouble your lordship 
with relating to you the manner of it. After the 
queen had denied me the solicitor s place, for the 
which his lordship had been a long and earnest 
suitor on my behalf, it pleased him to come to me 
from Richmond to Twickenham Park, and brake 
with me, and said : " Mr. Bacon, the queen hath 
" denied me the place for you, and hath placed an- 
" other ; I know you are the least part of your own 
" matter, but you fare ill because you have chosen 
" me for your mean and dependence : you have 
" spent your time and thoughts in my matters ; I 
" die," these were his very words, " if I do not some- 
" what towards your fortune, you shall not deny to 
" accept a piece of land which I will bestow upon 
" you." My answer, I remember, was, that for my 
fortune it was no great matter ; but that his lordship s 
offer made me call to mind what was wont to be said, 
when I was in France, of the duke of Guise, that 
he was the greatest usurer in France, because he had 


turned all his estate into obligations ; meaning, that 
he had left himself nothing, but only had bound 
numbers of persons to him. " Now, my lord, said 
" I, I would not have you imitate his course, nor 
" turn your estate thus by great gifts into obliga- 
" tions, for you will find many bad debtors." He 
bade me take no care for that, and pressed it : 
whereupon I said, " My lord, I see I must be your 
" homager, and hold land of your gift ; but do you 
" know the manner of doing homage in law ? Al- 
" ways it is with a saving of his faith to the king 
" and his other lords ; and therefore, my lord, said 
" I, I can be no more yours than I was, and it must 
" be with the ancient savings : and if I grow to be 
" a rich man, you will give me leave to give it back 
" again to some of your unrewarded followers." 

But to return : sure I am, though I can arrogate 
nothing to myself but that I was a faithful remem 
brancer to his lordship, that while I had most credit 
with him his fortune went on best : and yet in two 
main points we always directly and contradictorily 
differed, which I will mention to your lordship, be 
cause it giveth light to all that followed. The one 
was, I ever set this down, that the only course to be 
held with the queen, was by obsequiousness and ob 
servance ; and I remember I would usually engage 
confidently, that if he would take that course con 
stantly, and with choice of good particulars to ex 
press it, the queen would be brought in time to 
Ahasuerus s question, to ask, " What should be done 
" to the man that the king would honour ?" Mean- 


ing, that her goodness was N without limit, where 
there was a true concurrence : which I knew in her 
nature to be true. My lord, on the other side, had 
a settled opinion, that the queen could be brought to 
nothing but by a kind of necessity and authority ; 
and I well remember, when by violent courses at any 
time he had got his will, he would ask me, " Now, Sir, 
" whose principles be true ?" And I would again 
say to him ; " My lord, these courses be like to 
" hot waters, they will help at a pang ; but if you 
" use them you shall spoil the stomach, and you 
" shall be fain still to make them stronger, and 
" stronger, and yet in the end they will lessen their 
" operation ;" with much other variety, wherewith I 
used to touch that string. Another point was, that 
I always vehemently dissuaded him from seeking 
greatness by a military dependence, or by a popular 
dependence, as that which would breed in the queen 
jealousy, in himself presumption, and in the state 
perturbation : and I did usually compare them to 
Icarus s two wings, which were joined on with wax, 
and would make him venture to soar too high, and 
then fail him at the height. And I would farther 
say unto him ; " My lord, stand upon two feet, and 
" fly not upon two wings : the two feet are the two 
"kinds of justice, commutative, and distributive: 
" use your greatness for advancing of merit and vir- 
" tue, and relieving wrongs and burthens ; you shall 
" need no other art or finesse :" but he would tell 
me, that opinion came not from my mind, but from 
my robe. But it is very true, that I, that never 


meant to enthral myself to my lord of Essex, nor 
any other man, more than stood with the public 
good, did, though I could little prevail, divert him 
by all means possible from courses of the wars and 
popularity : for I saw plainly the queen must either 
live or die ; if she lived, then the times would be as 
in the declination of an old prince ; if she died, the 
times would be as in the beginning of a new ; and 
that if his lordship did rise too fast in these courses, 
the times might be dangerous for him, and he for 
them. Nay, I remember, I was thus plain with him 
upon his voyage to the islands, when I saw every 
spring put forth such actions of charge and provo 
cation, that I said to him, " My lord, when I came 
" first unto you, I took you for a physician that de- 
" sired to cure the diseases of the state ; but now I 
" doubt you will be like those physicians which can 
" be content to keep their patients low, because they 
" would always be in request." Which plainness he 
nevertheless took very well, as he had an excellent 
ear, and was " patientissimus veri," and assured me 
the case of the realm required it : and I think this 
speech of mine, and the like renewed afterwards, 
pricked him to write that Apology which is in many 
men s hands. 

But this difference in two points so main and 
material, bred in process of time a discontinuance of 
privateness, as it is the manner of men seldom to 
communicate where they think their courses not ap 
proved, between his lordship and myself: so as I was 
not called nor advised with for some year and a half 


before his lordship s going into Ireland, as in former 
time : yet, nevertheless, touching his going into Ire 
land, it pleased him expressly, and in a set manner, 
to desire mine opinion and counsel. At which time 
I did not only dissuade, hut protest against his 
going ; telling him, with as much vehemency and 
asseveration as I could, that absence in that kind 
would exulcerate the queen s mind, whereby it 
would not be possible for him to carry himself so 
as to give her sufficient contentment ; nor for her to 
carry herself so as to give him sufficient counte 
nance : which would be ill for her, ill for him, and 
ill for the state. And because I would omit no 
argument, I remember I stood also upon the diffi 
culty of the action ; setting before him out of histo 
ries, that the Irish was such an enemy as the an 
cient Gauls, or Britons, or Germans were ; and that 
we saw how the Romans, who had such discipline 
to govern their soldiers, and such donatives to en 
courage them, and the whole world in a manner to 
levy them ; yet when they came to deal with ene 
mies, which placed their felicity only in liberty, and 
the sharpness of their sword, and had the natural 
elemental advantages of woods, and bogs, and hard 
ness of bodies, they ever found they had their hands 
full of them ; and therefore concluded, that going 
over with such expectation as he did, and through 
the churlishness of the enterprize not like to answer 
it, would mightily diminish his reputation : and 
many other reasons I used, so as I am sure I never 
in any thing in my life-time dealt with him in like 


earnestness by speech, by writing, and by all the 
means I could devise. For I did as plainly see his 
overthrow chained, as it were by destiny, to that 
journey, as it is possible for any man to ground a 
judgment upon future contingents. But my lord, 
howsoever his ear was open, yet his heart and 
resolution was shut against that advice, where 
by his ruin might have been prevented. After 
my lord s going, I saw then how true a prophet I 
was, in regard of the evident alteration which natu 
rally succeeded in the queen s mind ; and thereupon 
I was still in watch to find the best occasion that in 
the weakness of my power I could either take or 
minister, to pull him out of the fire, if it had been 
possible : and not long after, methought I saw some 
overture thereof, which I apprehended readily; a 
particularity which I think to be known to very 
few, and the which I do the rather relate unto your 
lordship, because I hear it should be talked, that 
while my lord was in Ireland I revealed some mat 
ters against him, or I cannot tell what ; which if it 
were not a mere slander as the rest is, but had any, 
though never so little, colour, was surely upon this 
occasion. The queen, one day at Nonesuch, a lit 
tle, as I remember, before Cuffe s coming over, 
where I attended her, shewed a passionate distaste 
of my lord s proceedings in Ireland, as if they were 
unfortunate, without judgment, contemptuous, and 
not without some private end of his own, and all 
that might be ; and was pleased, as she spake of it 
to many that she trusted least, so to fall into the like 


speech with me. Whereupon I, who was still awake, 
and true to my grounds, which I thought surest for 
my lord s good, said to this effect : " Madam, I 
" know not the particulars of estate, and I know 
" this, that princes actions must have no abrupt 
"periods or conclusions ; but otherwise I would think, 
" that if you had my lord of Essex here with a white 
" staff in his hand, as my lord of Leicester had, and 
" continued him still about you for society to your- 
" self, and for an honour and ornament to your at- 
" tendance and court in the eyes of your people, 
" and in the eyes of foreign ambassadors, then were 
" he in his right element ; for to discontent him as 
" you do, and yet to put arms and power into his 
" hands, may be a kind of temptation to make 
" him prove cumbersome and unruly. And there- 
" fore if you would imponere bonam clausu- 
" lam, and send for him, and satisfy him with ho- 
" nour here near you, if your affairs, which, as I 
" have said, I am not acquainted with, will permit 
" it, I think were the best way." Which course, your 
lordship knoweth, if it had been taken, then all had 
been well, and no contempt in my lord s coming 
over, nor continuance of these jealousies, which that 
employment of Ireland bred, and my lord here in his 
former greatness. Well, the next news that I heard 
was, that my lord was come over, and that he was 
committed to his chamber for leaving Ireland with 
out the queen s licence; this was at Nonesuch, where, 
as my duty was, I came to his lordship, and talked 
with him privately about a quarter of an hour, and 


he asked mine opinion of the course that was taken 
with him : I told him, My lord, Nubecula est 
cito transibit; it is but a mist. But shall I tell 
" your lordship, it is as mists are : if it go upwards, 
" it may perhaps cause a shower : if downwards, it 
" will clear up. And therefore, good my lord, carry 
" it so, as you take away by all means all umbrages 
" and distastes from the queen ; and especially, if I 
" were worthy to advise you, as I have been by your- 
" self thought, and now your question imports the 
" continuance of that opinion, observe three points : 
" first, make not this cessation or peace, which is 
" concluded with Tyrone, as a service wherein you 
" glory, but as a shuffling up of a prosecution which 
" was not very fortunate. Next, represent not to 
" the queen any necessity of estate, whereby, as by 
" a coercion or wrench, she should think herself in- 
" forced to send you back into Ireland, but leave it 
" to her. Thirdly, seek access ( importune, opportune/ 
" seriously, sportingly, every way." I remember 
my lord was willing to hear me, but spake very few 
words, and shaked his head sometimes, as if he 
thought I was in the wrong ; but sure I am, he did 
just contrary in every one of these three points. Af 
ter this, during the while since my lord was com 
mitted to my lord keeper s, I came divers times to 
the queen, as I had used to do, about causes of her 
revenue and law business, as is well known ; by rea 
son of which accesses, according to the ordinary cha 
rities of court, it was given out, that I was one of 
them that incensed the queen against my lord of Es- 


sex. These speeches I cannot tell, nor I will not 
think, that they grew any way from her majesty s 
own speeches, whose memory I will ever honour ; if 
they did, she is with God, and " Miserum est ab illis 
lagdi, de quibus non possis queri." But I must 
give this testimony to my lord Cecil, that one time 
in his house at the Savoy he dealt with me directly, 
and said to me, " Cousin, I hear it, but I believe it 
" not, that you should do some ill office to my lord 
" of Essex; for my part I am merely passive, and 
" not active in this action ; and I follow the queen, 
" and that heavily, and I lead her not ; my lord of 
" Essex is one that in nature I could consent with 
* as well as with any one living; the queen indeed 
" is my sovereign, and I am her creature, I may not 
" lose her, and the same course I would wish you 
" to take." Whereupon I satisfied him how far I 
was from any such mind. And as sometimes it 
cometh to pass, that men s inclinations are opened 
more in a toy, than in a serious matter : a little 
before that time, being about the middle of 
Michaelmas term, her majesty had a purpose to dine 
at my lodge at Twicknam Park, at which time I had, 
though I profess not to be a poet, prepared a son 
net directly tending and alluding to draw on her ma 
jesty s reconcilement to my lord ; which, I remember, 
also I shewed to a great person, and one of my lord s 
nearest friends, who commended it. This, though it 
be, as I said, but a toy, yet it shewed plainly in what 
spirit I proceeded ; and that 1 was ready not only 
to do my lord good offices, but to publish and de- 
VOL. vi. s 


clare myself for him : and never was I so ambitious 
of any thing in my life-time, as I was to have carried 
some token or favour from her majesty to my lord ; 
using all the art I had, both to procure her majesty 
to send, and myself to be the messenger. For as to 
the former I feared not to allege to her, that this 
proceeding toward my lord was a thing towards the 
people very unplausible ; and therefore wished her 
majesty, however she did, yet to discharge herself of 
it, and lay it upon others ; and therefore that she 
should intermix her proceeding with some immediate 
graces from herself, that the world might take know 
ledge of her princely nature and goodness, lest it should 
alienate the hearts of her people from her : which I 
did stand upon ; knowing well that if she once re 
lented to send or visit, those demonstrations would 
prove matter of substance for my lord s good. And 
to draw that employment upon myself, I advised her 
majesty, that whensoever God should move her to 
turn the light of her favours towards my lord, to 
make signification to him thereof; that her majesty, 
if she did it not in person, would at the least use 
some such mean as might not intitle themselves to 
any part of the thanks, as persons that were thought 
mighty with her to work her, or to bring her about; 
but to use some such as could not be thought but a 
mere conduit of her own goodness. But I could 
never prevail with her, though I am persuaded she 
saw plainly whereat I levelled ; and she plainly had 
me in jealousy, that I was not hers intirely, but still 
had inward and deep respects towards my lord, more 


than stood at that time with her will and pleasure. 
About the same time I remember an answer of mine 
in a matter which had some affinity with my lord s 
cause, which though it grew from me, went after about 
in others names. For her majesty being mightily in 
censed with that book which was dedicated to my 
lord of Essex, being a story of the first year of king 
Henry IV. thinking it a seditious prelude to put 
into the people s head boldness and faction, said, 
She had an opinion that there was treason in it, and 
asked me if I could not find any places in it that 
might be drawn within case of treason : whereto 
I answered ; For treason surely I found none, but 
for felony very many. And when her majesty 
hastily asked me, Wherein ? I told her, the au 
thor had committed very apparent theft ; for he had 
taken most of the sentences of Cornelius Tacitus, 
and translated them into English, and put them 
into his text. And another time, when the queen 
would not be persuaded that it was his writing 
whose name was to it, but that it had some 
more mischievous author ; and said with great in 
dignation, That she would have him racked to pro 
duce his author : I replied ; " Nay, madam, he is a 
" doctor, never rack his person, but rack his stile; 
ts let him have pen, ink, and paper, and help of 
" books, and be enjoined to continue the story 
" where it breaketh off, and I will undertake by 
" collating the stiles to judge whether he were the 
" author or no." But for the main matter, sure I 


am, when the queen at any time asked mine opinion 
of my lord s case, I ever in one tenour said unto her; 
That they were faults which the law might term 
contempts ; because they were the transgression of 
her particular directions and instructions : but then 
what defence might be made of them, in regard of 
the great interest the person had in her majesty s 
favour ; in regard of the greatness of his place, and 
the ampleness of his commission ; in regard of the 
nature of the business, being action of war, which in 
common cases cannot be tied to strictness of instruc 
tions ; in regard of the distance of the place, having 
also a sea between, that his demands and her com 
mands must be subject to wind and weather ; in re 
gard of a council of state in Ireland, which he had 
at his back to avow his actions upon ; and lastly, in 
regard of a good intention, that he would allege 
for himself; which, I told her, in some religions was 
held to be a sufficient dispensation for God s command 
ments, much more for princes : in all these regards, 
I besought her majesty to be advised again and again, 
how she brought the cause into any public question. 
Nay, I went farther ; for I told her, my lord was an 
eloquent and well-spoken man; and besides his elo 
quence of nature or art, he had an eloquence of ac 
cident which passed them both, which was the pity 
and benevolence of his hearers ; and therefore, that 
when he should come to his answer for himself, I 
doubted his words would have so unequal a passage 
above theirs that should charge him, as would not 


be for her majesty s honour; and therefore wished the 
conclusion might be, that they might wrap it up pri 
vately between themselves; and that she would restore 
my lord to his former attendance, with some addition 
of honour to take away discontent. But this I will never 
deny; that 1 did shew no approbation generally of his 
being sent back again into Ireland, both because it 
would have carried a repugnancy with my former dis 
course, and because I was in mine own heart fully 
persuaded that it was not good, either for the queen, 
or for the state, or for himself: and yet I did not 
dissuade it neither, but left it ever as " locus lubri- 
cus." For this particularity I do well remember, 
that after your lordship was named for the place in 
Ireland, and not long before your going, it pleased 
her majesty at Whitehall to speak to me of that no- 
mination : at which time I said to her ; " Surely, 
" madam, if you mean not to employ my lord of 
" Essex thither again, your majesty cannot make a 
" better choice ;" and was going on to shew some 
reason, and her majesty interrupted me with great 
passion : " Essex !" said she ; " whensoever I send 
Essex back again into Ireland, I will marry you, 
claim it of me." Whereunto I said ; " Well, Madam, 
" I will release that contract, if his going be for the 
" good of your state." Immediately after the queen 
had thought of a course, which was also executed, 
to have somewhat published in the Star chamber, 
for the satisfaction of the world, touching my lord 
of Essex his restraint, and my lord not to be called 
to it ; but occasion to be taken by reason of some 


libels then dispersed : which when her majesty pro 
pounded unto me, I was utterly against it; and 
told her plainly, That the people would say, that my 
lord was wounded upon his back, and that Justice 
had her balance taken from her, which ever consisted 
of an accusation and defence ; with many other 
quick and significant terms to that purpose : inso 
much that, I remember, I said, that my lord " in 
foro fama3," was too hard for her; and therefore 
wished her, as I had done before, to wrap it up pri 
vately. And certainly I offended her at that time, 
which was rare with me : for I call to mind, that 
both the Christmas, Lent, and Easter term following, 
though I came divers times to her upon law business, 
yet methought her face and manner was not so clear 
and open to me as it was at the first. And she did 
directly charge me, that I was absent that day at the 
Star-chamber, which was very true ; but I alleged 
some indisposition of body to excuse it : and during 
all the time aforesaid, there was " altum silen- 
tium" from her to me touching my lord of Essex s 

But towards the end of Easter term her majesty 
brake with me, and told me, That she had found 
my words true : for that the proceeding in the Star- 
chamber had done no good, but rather kindled fac 
tious bruits, as she termed them, than quenched 
them; and therefore, that she was determined now, 
for the satisfaction of the world, to proceed against 
my lord in the Star-chamber by an information 
" Ore tenus," and to have my lord brought to his 


answer : howbeit, she said, she would assure me, 
that whatsoever she did should be towards my lord 
" ad castigationem, et non ad destructionem ;" as 
indeed she had often repeated the same phrase be 
fore : whereunto I said, to the end utterly to divert 
her, " Madam, if you will have me speak to you 
" in this argument, I must speak to you as Friar 
" Bacon s head spake, that said first, Time is and 
" then Time was ; and Time will never be : for 
" certainly, said I, it is now far too late, the matter is 
" cold, and hath taken too much wind." Whereat she 
seemed again offended, and rose from me ; and that 
resolution for a while continued : and after, in the 
beginning of Midsummer term, I attending her, and 
finding her settled in that resolution, which I heard 
of also otherwise, she falling upon the like speech ; 
it is true, that seeing no other remedy, I said to her 
slightly, " Why, madam, if you will needs have a 
" proceeding, you were best have it in some such 
" sort as Ovid spake of his mistress ; e est aliquid 
" luce patente minus ; to make a council-table mat- 
" ter of it, and there an end :" which speech again 
she seemed to take in ill part ; but yet I think it did 
good at that time, and helped to divert that course of 
proceeding by information in the Star-chamber. 
Nevertheless, afterwards it pleased her to make a 
more solemn matter of the proceeding ; and some 
few days after, an order was given that the matter 
should be heard at York-house, before an assembly 
of counsellors, peers, and judges, and some audience 
of men of quality to be admitted : and then did some 


principal counsellors send for us of the learned coun 
sel, and notify her majesty s pleasure unto us ; save 
that it was said to me openly by one of them, that 
her majesty was not yet resolved whether she would 
have me forborn in the business or no. And here 
upon might arise that other sinister and untrue 
speech, that, I hear, is raised of me, how I was a 
suitor to be used against my lord of Essex at that 
time : for it is very true, that I that knew well what 
had passed between the queen and me, and what oc 
casion I had given her both of distaste and distrust, 
in crossing her disposition, by standing stedfastly 
for my lord of Essex, and suspecting it also to be a 
stratagem arising from some particular emulation, I 
writ to her two or three words of compliment, signi 
fying to her majesty, " That if she would be pleased 
" to spare me in my lord of Essex s cause, out of the 
" consideration she took of my obligation towards 
" him, I should reckon it for one of her greatest fa- 
" vours : but otherwise desiring her majesty to think 
" that I knew the degrees of duties ; and that no 
" particular obligation whatsoever to any subject 
" could supplant or weaken that entireness of duty 
" that I did owe and bear to her and her service." 
And this was the goodly suit I made, being a respect 
no man that had his wits could have omitted : but 
nevertheless I had a farther reach in it ; for I judged 
that day s work would be a full period of any bitter 
ness or harshness between the queen and my lord : 
and therefore, if I declared myself fully according to 
her mind at that time, which could not do my lord 


any manner of prejudice, I should keep my credit 
with her ever after, whereby to do my lord service. 
Hereupon the next news that I heard was, that we 
were all sent for again ; and that her majesty s plea 
sure was, we all should have parts in the business ; 
and the lords falling into distribution of our parts, it 
was allotted to me, that I should set forth some un- 
dutiful carriage of my lord, in giving occasion and 
countenance to a seditious pamphlet, as it was 
termed, which was dedicated unto him, which was 
the book before-mentioned of king Henry IV. 
Whereupon I replied to that allotment, and said to 
their lordships, That it was an old matter, and had 
no manner of coherence with the rest of the charge, 
being matters of Ireland : and therefore, that I hav 
ing been wronged by bruits before, this would ex 
pose me to them more ; and it would be said I gave 
in evidence mine own tales. It was answered again 
with good shew, That because it was considered how 
I stood tied to my lord of Essex, therefore that part 
was thought fittest for me, which did him least hurt ; 
for that whereas all the rest was matter of charge 
and accusation, this only was but matter of caveat 
and admonition. Wherewith though I was in mine 
own mind little satisfied, because I knew well a 
man were better to be charged with some faults, 
than admonished of some others : yet the conclu 
sion binding upon the queen s pleasure directly, 
" volens nolens" I could not avoid that part that 
was laid upon me: which part, if in the delivery 
I did handle not tenderly, though no man before 


me did in so clear terms free from my lord from 
all disloyalty as I did, that, your lordship knoweth, 
must be ascribed to the superior duty I did owe to the 
queen s fame and honour in a public proceeding, and 
partly to the intention I had to uphold myself in 
credit and strength with the queen, the better to be 
able to do my lord good offices afterwards : for as 
soon as this day was past, I lost no time ; but the 
very next day following, as I remember, I attended 
her majesty, fully resolved to try and put in ure 
my utmost endeavour, so far as I in my weakness 
could give furtherance, to bring my lord again 
speedily into court and favour ; and knowing, as 
I supposed at least, how the queen was to be used, 
I thought that to make her conceive that the mat 
ter went well then, was the way to make her 
leave off there : and I remember well, I said to her, 
" You have now, madam, obtained victory over 
" two things, which the greatest princes in the 
" world cannot at their wills subdue ; the one is 
" over fame ; the other is over a great mind : for 
" surely the world is now, I hope, reasonably well sa- 
" tisfied ; and for my lord, he did shew that humili- 
" ation towards your majesty, as I am persuaded he 
" was never in his life-time more fit for your ma- 
" jesty s favour than he is now : therefore if your 
" majesty will not mar it by lingering, but give 
" over at the best, and now you have made so good 
" a full point, receive him again with tenderness, I 
cc shall then think, that all that is past is for the 
" best." Whereat, I remember, she took exceeding 


great contentment, and did often iterate and put me 
in mind, that she had ever said, That her proceedings 
should be "ad reparationem," and not " ad ruinam ;" 
as who saith, that now was the time I should well 
perceive, that that saying of hers should prove true. 
And farther she willed me to set down in writing all 
that passed that day. I obeyed her commandment, 
and within some few days after brought her again 
the narration, which I did read unto her in two se 
veral afternoons : and when I came to that part that 
set forth my lord s own answer, which was my prin 
cipal care, I do well bear in mind, that she was ex 
traordinarily moved with it, in kindness and relenting 
towards my lord ; and told me afterwards, speaking 
how well I had expressed my lord s part, That she 
perceived old love would not easily be forgotten : 
whereunto I answered suddenly, that I hoped she 
meant that by herself. But in conclusion I did ad 
vise her, That now she had taken a representation 
of the matter to herself, that she would let it go no 
farther : " For, madam," said I, " the fire blazeth 
" well already, what should you tumble it ? And be- 
" sides, it may please you to keep a convenience 
" with yourself in this case ; for since your express 
" direction was, there should be no register nor clerk 
" to take this sentence, nor no record or memorial 
" made up of the proceeding, why should you now 
" do that popularly, which you would not admit to 
"be done judicially?" Whereupon she did agree 
that that writing should be suppressed ; and I think 
there were not five persons that ever saw it. But 


from this time forth, during the whole latter end of 
that summer, while the court was at Nonesuch and 
Oatlands, I made it my task arid scope to take and 
give occasions for my lord s redintegration in his for 
tunes : which my intention I did also signify to my 
lord as soon as ever he was at his liberty ; whereby 
I might without peril of the queen s indignation 
write to him : and having received from his lordship 
a courteous and loving acceptation of my good will 
and endeavours, I did apply it in all my accesses to 
the queen, which were very many at that time ; and 
purposely sought and wrought upon other variable 
pretences, but only and chiefly for that purpose. 
And on the other side, I did not forbear to give my 
lord from time to time faithful advertisement what 
I found, and what I wished. And I drew for him, 
by his appointment, some letters to her majesty ; 
which though I knew well his lordship s gift and stile 
was far better than mine own, yet, because he re 
quired it, alleging, that by his long restraint he was 
grown almost a stranger to the queen s present con 
ceits, I was ready to perform it : and sure I am, that 
for the space of six weeks or two months, it pros 
pered so well, as I expected continually his restoring 
to his attendance. And I was never better welcome 
to the queen, nor more made of, than when I spake 
fullest and boldest for him : in which kind the par 
ticulars were exceeding many; whereof, for an exam 
ple, I will remember to your lordship one or two. As 
at one time, I call to mind, her majesty was speaking 
of a fellow that undertook to cure, or at least to ease 


my brother of his gout, and asked me how it went 
forward : and I told her majesty, That at the first 
he received good by it ; but after in the course of 
his cure he found himself at a stay, or rather worse : 
the queen said again, " I will tell you, Bacon, the 
" error of it : the manner of these physicians, and 
" especially these empirics, is to continue one kind of 
" medicine; which at the first is proper, being to draw 
" out the ill humour ; but, after, they have not the 
" discretion to change the medicine, but apply still 
" drawing medicines, when they should rather intend 
" to cure and corroborate the part." " Good Lord ! ma- 
11 dam," said I, " how wisely and aptly can you speak 
" and discern of physic ministered to the body, and 
" consider not that there is the like occasion of physic 
" ministered to the mind : as now in the case of my 
" lord of Essex, your princely word ever was, that you 
" intended ever to reform his mind, and not ruin his 
" fortune : I know well you cannot but think that 
" you have drawn the humour sufficiently ; and there- 
" fore it were more than time, and it were but for 
" doubt of mortifying or exulcerating, that you did 
" apply and minister strength and comfort unto him : 
" for these same gradations of yours are fitter to cor- 
" rupt than correct any mind of greatness." And 
another time I remember she told me for news, That 
my lord had written unto her some very dutiful let 
ters, and that she had been moved by them ; and 
when she took it to be the abundance of his heart, 
she found it to be but a preparative to a suit for 
the renewing of his farm of sweet wines. Where- 


unto I replied, " O madam, how doth your majesty 
" construe these things, as if these two could not 
" stand well together, which indeed nature hath 
tl planted in all creatures ! For there are but two 
ff sympathies, the one towards perfection, the other 
" towards preservation ; that to perfection, as the 
iron tendeth to the loadstone ; that to preserva- 
" tion, as the vine will creep towards a stake or prop 
" that stands by it ; not for any love to the stake, 
" but to uphold itself. And therefore, madam, you 
" must distinguish : my lord s desire to do you ser- 
" vice is, as to his perfection, that which he thinks 
" himself to be born for ; whereas his desire to ob- 
" tain this thing of you, is but for a sustenta- 
" tion." 

And not to trouble your lordship with many 
other particulars like unto these, it was at the self 
same time that I did draw, with my lord s privity, 
and by his appointment, two letters, the one written 
as from my brother, the other as an answer returned 
from my lord, both to be by me in secret manner 
shewed to the queen, which it pleased my lord very 
strangely to mention at the bar ; the scope of which 
were but to represent and picture forth unto her 
majesty my lord s mind to be such, as I knew her 
majesty would fainest have had it : which letters 
whosoever shall see, for they cannot now be re 
tracted or altered, being by reason of my brother s 
or his lordship s servants delivery long since come 
into divers hands, let him judge, especially if he 
knew the queen, and do remember those times, whe- 


ther they were not the labours of one that sought to 
bring the queen about for my lord of Essex his good. 
The truth is, that the issue of all his dealing grew 
to this, that the queen, by some slackness of my 
lord s, as I imagine, liked him worse and worse, and 
grew more incensed towards him. Then she re 
membering belike the continual, and incessant, and 
confident speeches and courses that I had held on 
my lord s side, became utterly alienated from me, 
and for the space of, at last, three months, which 
was between Michaelmas and New-year s-tide fol 
lowing, would not so much as look on me, but 
turned away from me with express and purpose-like 
discountenance wheresoever she saw me ; and at 
such time as I desired to speak \vith her about law- 
business, ever sent me forth very slight refusals, in 
somuch as it is most true, that immediately after 
New-year s-tide I desired to speak with her, and be 
ing admitted to her, I dealt with her plainly ; and 
said, " Madam, I see you withdraw your favour 
" from me, and now I have lost many friends for 
" your sake, 1 shall lose you too : you have put me 
u like one of those that the Frenchmen call " en- 
" fans perdus," that serve on foot before horsemen ; 
f( so have you put me into matters of envy without 
" place, or without strength ; and I know at chess a 
" pawn before the king is ever much played upon ; 
" a great many love me not, because they think I 
" have been against my lord of Essex j and you love 
" me not, because you know I have been for him ; 
" yet will I never repent me, that I have dealt in 
" simplicity of heart towards you both, without 


"respect of cautions to myself; and therefore 
< vivus vidensque pereo ; if I do break my neck, 
I shall do it in a manner as Mr. Dorrington 
did it, which walked on the battlements of 
"the church many days, and took a view and 
survey where he should fall. And so, madam, 
said I, I am not so simple but that I take a 
" prospect of mine overthrow ; only I thought 
I would tell you so much, that you may know 
" that it was faith, and not folly that brought 
me into it, and so I will pray for you." Upon 
which speeches of mine uttered with some passion, it 
is true her majesty was exceedingly moved ; and ac 
cumulated a number of kind and gracious words 
upon me, and willed me to rest upon this, " Gratia 
mea sufficit," and a number of other sensible and 
tender words and demonstrations, such as more 
could not be ; but as touching my lord of Essex, 
" ne verbum quidem." Whereupon I departed, 
resting then determined to meddle no more in the 
matter ; as that, that I saw would overthrow me, 
and not be able to do him any good. And thus I 
made mine own peace with mine own confidence* at 
that time ; and this was the last time I saw her ma 
jesty before the eighth of February, which was the 
daf of my lord of Essex his misfortune ; after which 
time, for that I performed at the bar in my public 
service, your lordship knoweth, by the rules of duty 
that I was to do it honestly, and without prevarica- 
eation; but for my putting myself into it, I protest 

* Query conscience, but note that in the first edition it is 


before God, I never moved either the queen, or any 
person living, concerning my being used in the ser~ 
vice, either of evidence or examination ; but it was 
merely laid upon me with the rest of my fellows. 
And for the time which passed, I mean between the 
arraignment and my lord s suffering, I well remem 
ber I was but once with the queen, at what time, 
though I durst not deal directly for my lord as 
things then stood, yet generally I did both commend 
her majesty s mercy, terming it to her as an excel 
lent balm that did continually distil from her sove 
reign hands, and made an excellent odour in the 
senses of her people ; and not only so, but I took 
hardiness to extenuate, not the fact, for that I durst 
not, but the danger, telling her, that if some base or 
cruel-minded persons had entered into such an ac 
tion, it might have caused much blood and combus 
tion : but it appeared well, they were guch as knew 
not how to play the malefactors ; and some other 
words which I now omit. And as for the rest of 
the carriage of myself in that service, I have many 
honourable witnesses that can tell, that the next day 
after my lord s arraignment, by my diligence and in 
formation touching the quality and nature of the 
offenders, six of nine were stayed, which otherwise 
had been attainted, I bringing their lordships letter 
for their stay, after the jury was sworn to pass upon 
them ; so near it went : and how careful I was, and 
made it my part, that whosoever was in trouble 
about that matter, as soon as ever his case was suffi 
ciently known and defined of, might not continue in 



restraint, but be set at liberty ; and many other 
parts, which, I am well assured of, stood with the 
duty of an honest man. But indeed I will not deny 
for the case of Sir Thomas Smith of London, the 
queen demanding my opinion of it, I told her, I 
thought it was as hard as any of the rest. But 
what was the reason ? Because at that time I had 
seen only his accusation, and had never been present 
at any examination of his ; and the matter so stand 
ing, I had been very untrue to my service, if I had 
not delivered that opinion. But afterwards upon 
a re-examination of some that charged him, who 
weakened their own testimony, and especially hear 
ing himself " viva voce," I went instantly to the 
queen, out of the soundness of my conscience, not 
regarding what opinion I had formerly delivered, 
and told her majesty, I was satisfied and resolved in 
iny conscience, that for the reputation of the action, 
the plot was to countenance the action farther by 
him in respect of his place, than they had indeed any 
interest or intelligence with him. It is very true 
also, about that time her majesty taking a liking of 
my pen, upon that which I formerly had done con 
cerning the proceeding at York-house, and likewise 
upon some other declarations, which in former times 
by her appointment I put in writing, commanded 
me to pen that book, which was published for the 
better satisfaction of the world ; which I did, but 
so, as never secretary had more particular and ex 
press directions and instructions in every point how 
to guide my hand in it ; and not only so, but after 


that I had made a first draught thereof, and pro 
pounded it to certain principal counsellors by her 
majesty s appointment, it was perused, weighed, 
censured, altered, and made almost a new writing, 
according to their lordships better consideration; 
wherein their lordships and myself both were as reli 
gious and curious of truth, as desirous of satisfac 
tion : and myself indeed gave only words and form 
of style in pursuing their direction. And after it had 
passed their allowance, it was again exactly perused 
by the queen herself, and some alterations made 
again by her appointment : nay, and after it was 
set to print, the queen, who, as your lordship know- 
eth, as she was excellent in great matters, so she was 
exquisite in small, and noted that I could not forget 
my ancient respect to my lord of Essex, in terming 
him ever my lord of Essex, my lord of Essex, 
almost in every page of the book, which she thought 
not fit, but would have it made Essex, or the late 
earl of Essex : whereupon of force it was printed 
" de novo," and the first copies suppressd by her 
peremptory commandment. 

And this, my good lord, to my farthest remem 
brance is all that passed wherein I had part ; which 
I have set down as near as I could in the very words 
and speeches that were used, not because they are 
worthy the repetition, I mean those of mine own ; 
but to the end your lordship may lively and plainly 
discern between the face of truth, and a smooth tale : 
and the rather also, because in things that passed a 
good while since, the very words and phrases did 


sometimes bring to my remembrance the matters : 
wherein I report me to your honourable judgment, 
whether you do not see the traces of an honest man: 
and had I been as well believed either by the queen 
or by my lord, as I was well heard by them both, 
both my lord had been fortunate, and so had myself 
in his fortune. 

To conclude therefore, I humbly pray your lord 
ship to pardon me for troubling you with this long 
narration ; and that you will vouchsafe to hold me 
in your good opinion, till you know I have deserved, 
or find that I shall deserve the contrary; and so ever 
-I continue 

At your Lordship s honourable commandments 
very humbly, 




THE fifth of June in Trinity term, upon Thursday, 
being no Star-chamber day, at the ordinary hour 
when the courts sit at Westminster, were assembled 
together at the lord keeper s house in the great 
chamber, her majesty s privy-council, enlarged and 
assisted for that time and cause by the special call 
and associating of certain selected persons, viz. four 
earls, two barons, and four judges of the law, mak 
ing in the whole a council or court of eighteen per 
sons, who were attended by four of her majesty s 
learned counsel for charging the earl ; and two clerks 
of the council, the one to read, the other as a regis 
ter ; and an auditory of persons, to the number, as 
I could guess, of two hundred, almost all men of 
quality, but of every kind or profession ; nobility, 
court, law, country, city. The upper end of the 
table left void for the earl s appearance, who, after 
the commissioners had sat a while, and the auditory 
was quiet from the first throng to get in, and the 
doors shut, presented himself and kneeled down at 

* At York-House, in June, 1600, prepared for queen Eliza 
beth by her command, and read to her by Mr. Bacon, but never 


the board s end, and so continued till he was licensed 
to stand up. 


Lord Archbishop, 
Lord Keeper, &c. 

IT was opened, that her majesty being imperial, 
and immediate under God, was not holden to render 
account of her actions to any ; howbeit, because she 
had chosen ever to govern, as well with satisfaction 
as with sovereignty, and the rather, to command 
down the winds of malicious and seditious rumours 
wherewith men s conceits may have been tossed to 
and fro, she was pleased to call the world to an un 
derstanding of her princely course held towards the 
earl of Essex, as well in here-before protracting as 
in. now proceeding. 

The earl repairing from his government into this 
realm in August last, contrary to her majesty ex 
press and most judicial commandment, though the 
contempt were in that point visible, and her majesty s 
mind prepared to a just and high displeasure, in 
regard of that realm of Ireland set at hazard by his 
former disobedience to her royal directions, yet kept 
that stay, as she commanded my lord only to his 
chamber in court, until his allegations might by her 
privy council be questioned and heard ; which ac 
count taken, and my lord s answers appearing to be 
of no defence, that shadow of defence which was 
offered consisted of two parts, the one his own con 
ceit of some likelihood of good effects to ensue of 


the course held, the other a vehement and over 
ruling persuasion of the council there, though he 
were indeed as absolutely freed from opinion of the 
council of Ireland, as he was absolutely tied to her 
majesty s trust arid instructions. Nevertheless., her 
majesty not unwilling to admit any extenuation of 
his offence ; and considering the one point required 
advertisement out of Ireland, and the other further 
expectation of the event and sequel of the affairs 
there, and so both points asked time and protrac 
tion ; her majesty proceeded still with reservation, 
not to any restraint of my lord according to the 
nature and degree of his offence, but to a commit 
ment of him, " sub libera custodia," in the lord- 
keeper s house. 

After, when both parts of this defence plainly 
failed my lord, yea, and proved utterly adverse to 
him, for the council of Ireland in plain terms disa 
vowed all those his proceedings, and the event made 
a miserable interpretation of them, then her majesty 
began to behold the offence in nature and likeness, 
9S it was divested from any palliation or cover, and 
in the true proportion and magnitude thereof, im 
porting the peril of a kingdom : which consideration 
wrought in her majesty a strange effect, if any thing 
which is heroical in virtue can be strange in her na 
ture ; for when offence was grown unmeasurably 
offensive, then did grace superabound ; and in the 
heat of all the ill news out of Ireland, and other 
advertisements thence to my lord s disadvantage, her 
majesty entered into a resolution, out of herself and 


her inscrutable goodness, not to overthrow my lord s 
fortune irreparably, by public and proportionable 
justice : notwithstanding, inasmuch as about that 
time there did fly about in London streets and 
theatres divers seditious libels ; and Paul s and ordi 
naries were full of bold and factious discourses, 
whereby not only many of her majesty s faithful and 
zealous counsellors and servants were taxed, but 
withal the hard estate of Ireland was imputed to any 
thing rather than unto the true cause, the earl s 
defaults, though this might have made any prince 
on earth to lay aside straight ways the former resolu 
tion taken, yet her majesty in her moderation per 
sisted in her course of clemency, and bethought 
herself of a mean to right her own honour, and yet 
spare the earl s ruin ; and therefore taking a just and 
most necessary occasion upon these libels, of an ad 
monition to be given seasonably, and as is oft accus 
tomed ; the last Star-chamber day of Michaelmas 
term, was pleased, that declaration should be made, 
by way of testimony, of all her honourable privy 
council, of her majesty s infinite care, royal provi 
sions, and prudent directions for the prosecutions 
in Ireland, wherein the earl s errors, by which means 
so great care and charge was frustrated, were inci- 
dently touched. 

But as in bodies very corrupt, the medicine rather 
stirreth and exasperateth the humour than purge th 
it, so some turbulent spirits laid hold of this pro 
ceeding in so singular partiality towards my lord, as 
if it had been to his disadvantage, and gave out 


that this was to condemn a man unheard, and to 
wound him on his back, and to leave Justice her 
sword and take away her balance, which consisted 
of an accusation and a defence ; and such other sedi 
tious phrases : whereupon her majesty seeing herself 
interested in honour, which she hath ever sought to 
preserve as her eye, clear and without mote, was in- 
forced to resolve of a judicial hearing of the cause, 
which was accordingly appointed in the end of Hi 
lary term. At the which time warning being given 
to my lord to prepare himself, he falling, as it 
seemed, in a deep consideration of his estate, made 
unto her majesty by letter an humble and effectual 
submission, beseeching her that that bitter cup of 
justice might pass from him, for those were his words ; 
which wrought such an impression in her majesty s 
mind, that it not only revived in her her former 
resolution to forbear any public hearing, but it 
fetched this virtue out of mercy by the only touch, 
as few days after my lord was removed to further 
liberty in his own house, her majesty hoping that 
these bruits and malicious imputations would of 
themselves wax old and vanish : but finding it other 
wise in proof, upon taste taken by some intermis 
sion of time, and especially beholding the humour of 
the time in a letter presumed to be written to her 
majesty herself by a lady, to whom, though nearest 
in blood to my lord, it appertained little to intermed 
dle in matters of this nature, otherwise than in course 
of humility to have solicited her grace and mercy ; 
in which letter, in a certain violent and mineral spi- 


rit of bitterness, remonstrance, and representation 
is made to her majesty, as if my lord suffered under 
passion and faction, and not under justice mixed with 
mercy ; which letter, though written to her sacred 
majesty, and therefore unfit to pass in vulgar hands, 
yet was first divulged by copies every where, that 
being, as it seemeth, the newest and finest form of 
libelling, and since committed to the press : her 
majesty in her wisdom seeing manifestly these ru 
mours thus nourished had got too great a head to 
be repressed without some hearing of the cause, and 
calling my lord to answer; and yet on the other side, 
being still informed touching my lord himself of his 
continuance of penitence and submission, did in con 
clusion resolve to use justice, but with the edge and 
point taken off and rebated ; for whereas nothing 
leaveth that taint upon honour, which in a person of 
my lord s condition is hardliest repaired, in question 
of justice, as to be called to the ordinary and open 
place of offenders and criminals, her majesty had 
ordered that the hearing should be " intra domes- 
ticos parietes," and not " luce forensi." And whereas 
again in the Star-chamber there be certain formali 
ties net fit in regard of example to be dispensed 
with, which would strike deeper both into my lord s 
fortune and reputation ; as the fine which is inci 
dent to a sentence there given, and the imprison 
ment of the Tower, which in case of contempts that 
touch the point of estate doth likewise follow ; her 
majesty turning this course, had directed that the 
matters should receive, before a great, honourable, 


and selected council, a full and deliberate, and yet 
in respect, a private, mild, and gracious hearing. 

All this was not spoken in one undivided speech, 
but partly by the first that spake of the learned 
counsel, and partly by some of the commissioners ; 
for in this and the rest I keep order of matter, and 
not of circumstance. 


The matters wherewith my lord was charged 
were of two several natures ; of an higher, and of 
an inferior degree of offence. 

The former kind purported great and high con 
tempts and points of misgovernance in his office of 
her majesty s lieutenant and governor of her realm 
of Ireland ; and in the trust and authority thereby 
to him committed. 

The latter contained divers notorious errors and 
neglects of duty, as well in his government as other 

The great contempts and points of misgovern- 
ment and malversation in his office, were articulate 
into three heads. 

I. The first was the journey into Minister, 
whereby the prosecution in due time upon 
Tyrone in Ulster was overthrown: wherein 
he proceeded contrary to his directions, and 
the whole design of his employment : whereof 
ensued the consumption of her majesty s army, 
treasure, and provisions, and the evident peril 
of that kingdom. 


II. The second was the dishonourable and dan 
gerous treaty held, and cessation concluded 
with the same arch-rebel Tyrone. 

III. The third was his contemptuous leaving his 
government, contrary to her majesty s abso 
lute mandate under her hand and signet, and 
in a time of so imminent and instant danger. 

For the first, it had two parts ; that her ma 
jesty s resolution and direction was precise and abso 
lute for the northern prosecution, and that the same 
direction was by my lord, in regard of the journey 
to Munster, wilfully and contemptuously broken. 

It was therefore delivered, that her majesty, 
touched with a true and princely sense of the torn 
and broken estate of that kingdom of Ireland, en 
tered into a most Christian and magnanimous reso 
lution to leave no faculty of her regal power or 
policy unemployed for the reduction of that people, 
and for the suppressing and utter quenching of that 
flame of rebellion, wherewith that country was and 
is wasted : whereupon her majesty was pleased to 
take knowledge of the general conceit, how the for 
mer making and managing of the actions there had 
been taxed, upon two exceptions ; the one, that the 
proportions of forces which had been there main 
tained and continued by supplies, were not sufficient 
to bring the prosecutions to a period : the other, 
that the prosecutions had been also intermixed and 
interrupted with too many temporizing treaties, 
whereby the rebel did not only gather strength, but 


also find his strength more and more, so as ever 
such smothers broke forth again into greater flames. 
Which kind of discourses and objections, as they 
were entertained in a popular kind of observation, 
so were they ever chiefly patronized and appre 
hended by the earl, both upon former times and 
occasions, and now last when this matter was in deli 
beration. So as her majesty, to acquit her honour 
and regal function, and to give this satisfaction to 
herself and others, that she had left no way untried, 
resolved to undertake the action with a royal army 
and puissant forces, under the leading of some prin 
cipal nobleman ; in such sort, that, as far as human 
discourse might discern, it might be hoped, that by 
the expedition of a summer, things might be brought 
to that state, as both realms may feel some ease and 
respiration ; this from charge and levies, and that 
from troubles and perils. Upon this ground her 
majesty made choice of my lord of Essex for that ser 
vice, a principal peer and officer of her realm, a per 
son honoured with the trust of a privy counsellor, 
graced with the note of her majesty s special favour, 
infallibly betokening and redoubling his worth and 
value, enabled with the experience and reputation 
of former services, and honourable charges in the 
wars ; a man every way eminent, select, and qualified 
for a general of a great enterprise, intended for the 
recovery and reduction of that kingdom, and not 
only or merely as a lieutenant or governor of Ire 

My lord, after that he had taken the charge upon 


him, fell straight ways to make propositions answer 
able to her majesty s ends, and answerable to his own 
former discourses and ^opinions ; and chiefly did set 
down one full and distinct resolution, that the de 
sign and action, which of all others was most final 
and summary towards an end of those troubles, and 
which was worthy her majesty s enterprise with 
great and puissant forces, was a prosecution to be 
made upon the arch-traitor Tyrone in his own 
strengths within the province of Ulster, whereby 
both the inferior rebels which rely upon him, and 
the foreigner upon whom he relieth, might be dis 
couraged, and so to cut asunder both dependences : 
and for the proceeding with greater strength and 
policy in that action, that the main invasion and im 
pression of her majesty s army should be accompa 
nied and corresponded unto by the plantation of 
strong garrisons in the north, as well upon the river 
of Loghfoile as a postern of that province, as upon 
the hither frontiers, both for the distracting and 
bridling of the rebels forces during the action, and 
again, for the keeping possession of the victory, if 
God should send it. 

This proposition and project moving from my 
lord, was debated in many consultations. The prin 
cipal men of judgment and service in the wars, as a 
council of war to assist a council of state, were called 
at times unto it ; and this opinion of my lord was 
by himself fortified and maintained against all con 
tradiction and opposite argument ; and in the end, 

it was concluded and re- 


solved that the axe should be put to the root of 
the tree : which resolution was ratified and confirmed 
by the binding and royal judgment of her sacred 
majesty, who vouchsafed her kingly presence at most 
of those consultations. 

According to a proposition and enterprise of this 
nature, were the proportions of forces and provisions 
thereunto allotted. The first proportion set down 
by my lord was the number of 12,000 foot and 
1,200 horse; which being agreed unto, upon some 
other accident out of Ireland, the earl propounded 
to have it made 14,000 foot, and 1300 horse, which 
was likewise accorded ; within a little while after 
the earl did newly insist to have an augmentation 
of 2,000 more, using great persuasions and confident 
significations of good effect, if those numbers might 
be yielded to him, as which he also obtained before 
his departure ; and besides the supplies of 2,000 ar 
riving in July, he had authority to raise 2,000 Irish 
more, which he procured by his letters out of Ire 
land, with pretence to further the northern service : 
so as the army was raised in the conclusion and list 
to 16,000 foot, and 1,300 horse, supplied with 2,000 
more at three months end, and increased with 2,000 
Irish upon this new demand ; whereby her majesty 
at that time paid 18,000 foot and 1,300 horse in the 
realm of Ireland. Of these forces, divers compa 
nies drawn out of the experienced bands of the 
Low Countries ; special care taken that the new 
levies in the country should be of the ablest, and 
most disposed bodies ; the army also animated and 


encouraged with the service of divers brave and va 
liant noblemen and gentlemen voluntaries ; in sum, 
the most flourishing and complete troops that have 
been known to have been sent out of our nation in 
any late memory. A great mass of treasure pro 
vided and issued, amounting to such a total, as the 
charge of that army, all manner of ways, from the 
time of the first provisions and setting forth, to the 
time of my lord s returning into England, was veri 
fied to have drawn out of the coffers, besides the 
charge of the country, the quantity of 300,000/, and 
so ordered as he carried with him three months pay 
beforehand, and likewise victual, munition, and all 
habiliments of war whatsoever, with attendance of 
shipping allowed and furnished in a sortable pro 
portion, and to the full of all my lord s own demands. 
For my lord being himself a principal counsellor for 
the preparations, as he was to be an absolute com 
mander in the execution, his spirit was in every con 
ference and conclusion in such sort, as when there 
happened any points of difference upon demands, 
my lord using the forcible advantages of the tolera 
tion and liberty which her majesty s special favour 
did give unto him, and the great devotion and for 
wardness of his fellow-counsellors to the general 
cause, and the necessity of his then present service, 
he did ever prevail and carry it ; insomuch as it was 
objected and laid to my lord s charge as one of his 
errors and presumptions, that he did oftentimes, 
upon their propositions and demands, enter into con 
testations with her majesty, more a great deal than 


was fit. All which propositions before mentioned 
being to the utmost of my lord s own askings, 
and of that height and greatness, might really and 
demonstratively express and intimate unto him, be 
sides his particular knowledge which he had, as a 
counsellor of estate, of the means both of her ma 
jesty and this kingdom, that he was not to expect 
to have the commandment of 16,000 foot and 1,300 
horse, as an appurtenance to his lieutenancy of Ire 
land, which was impossible to be maintained ; but 
contrariwise, that in truth of intention he was de 
signed as general for one great action and expedi 
tion, unio which the rest of his authority was but 
accessary and accommodate. 

It was delivered further, that in the authority of 
his commission, which was more ample in many 
points than any former lieutenant had been vested 
with, there were many direct and evident marks of 
his designation to the northern action, as principally 
a clause whereby et merum arbitrium belli et pacis" 
was reposed in his sole trust and discretion, whereas 
all the lieutenants were ever tied unto the peremp 
tory assistance and admonition of a certain number 
of voices of the council of Ireland. The occasion of 
which clause so passed to my lord, doth notably dis 
close and point unto the precise trust committed to 
my lord for the northern journey ; for when his 
commission was drawn at first according to former 
precedents, and on the other side my lord insisted 
strongly to have this new and " prima facie" vast 
and exorbitant authority, he used this argument ; 
VOL. vi. u 


that the council of Ireland had many of them livings 
and possessions in or near the province of Lemster 
and Minister ; but that Ulster was abandoned from 
any such particular respects, whereby it was like, the 
council there would be glad to use her majesty s 
forces for the clearing and assuring of those territo 
ries and countries where their fortunes and estates 
were planted : so as, if he should be tied to their 
voices, he were like to be diverted from the main 
service intended : upon which reason that clause was 
yielded unto. 

So as it was then concluded, that all circum 
stances tended to one point, that there was a full 
and precise intention and direction for Ulster, and 
that my lord could not descend into the considera 
tion of his own quality and value ; he could not 
muster his fair army ; he could not account with 
the treasurer, and take consideration of the great 
mass of treasure issued ; he could not look into the 
ample and new clause of his letters patent ; he 
could not look back, either to his own former dis 
courses, or to the late propositions whereof himself 
was author, nor to the conferences, consultations, 
and conclusions thereupon, nor principally to her 
majesty s royal direction and expectation, nor gene 
rally to the conceit both of subjects of this realm, 
and the rebels themselves in Ireland ; but which 
way soever he turned, he must find himself trusted, 
directed, and engaged wholly for the northern ex 

The parts of this that was charged were verified by 


three proofs : the first, the most authentical but the 
least pressed, and that was her majesty s own royal 
affirmation, both by her speech now and her prece 
dent letters ; the second, the testimony of the privy 
council, who upon their honours did avouch the 
substance of that was charged, and referred them 
selves also to many of their lordships letters to the 
same effect ; the third, letters written from my lord 
after his being in Ireland, whereby the resolution 
touching the design of the north is often know- 

There follow some clauses both of her majesty s 
letters and of the lords of her council, and of the 
earl s and the council of Ireland, for the verification 
of this point. 

Her majesty, in her letter of the 1 9th of July to 
my lord of Essex, upon the lingering of the northern 
journey, doubting my lord did value service, rather 
by the labour he endured, than by the advantage 
of her majesty s royal ends, hath these words : 

" You have in this dispatch given us small light, 
" either when or in what order you intend particu- 
" larly to proceed to the northern action ; wherein 
" if you compare the time that is run on, and the 
" excessive charges that are spent, with the effects 
" of any thing wrought by this voyage, howsoever 
" we remain satisfied with your own particular cares 
" and travails of body and mind, yet you must needs 
" think that we, that have the eyes of foreign princes 
" upon our actions, and have the hearts of people to 
" comfort and cherish, who groan under the burthen 


ff of continual levies and impositions, which are oc- 
" casioned by these late actions, can little please 
" ourself hitherto with any thing that hath been 
" effected." 

In another branch of the same letter, reflecting 
her royal regard upon her own honour interested in 
this delay, hath these words : 

" Whereunto we will add this one thing that 
" doth more displease us than any charge or offence 
" that happens, which is, that it must be the queen 
" of England s fortune, who hath held down the 
" greatest enemy she had, to make a base bush-kern 
" to be accounted so famous a rebel, as to be a per- 
" son against whom so many thousands of foot and 
" horse, besides the force of all the nobility of that 
" kingdom, must be thought too little to be em- 
" ployed." 

In another branch, discovering, as upon the van 
tage ground of her princely wisdom, what would be 
the issue of the courses then held, hath these words: 

" And therefore, although by your letter we 
" found your purpose to go northwards, on which 
" depends the main good of our service, and which 
" we expected long since should have been per- 
" formed ; yet because we do hear it bruited, be- 
" sides the words of your letter written with your own 
" hand, which carries some such sense, that you who 
" allege such sickness in your army by being tra- 
" veiled with you, and find so great and important 
" affairs to digest at Dublin, will yet engage your- 
" self personally into Ophalie, being our lieutenant, 


" when you have there so many inferiors able, might 
" victual a fort, or seek revenge against those who 
" have lately prospered against our forces. And 
" when we call to mind how far the sun hath run his 
" course, and what dependeth upon the timely plan- 
" tation of garrisons in the North, and how great 
" scandal it would be to our honour to leave that 
" proud rebel unassayed, when we have with so 
" great an expectation of our enemies engaged our- 
" selves so far in the action ; so that, without that 
" be done, all those former courses will prove like 
" via navis in mari ; besides that our power, which 
" hitherto hath been dreaded by potent enemies, 
" will now even be held contemptible amongst our 
" rebels : we must plainly charge you, according to 
" the duty you owe to us, so to unite soundness of 
" judgment to the zeal you have to do us service, 
" as with all speed to pass thither in such sort, as 
" the axe might be put to the root of that tree, 
" which hath been the treasonable stock from whom 
" so many poisoned plants and grafts have been de- 
" rived ; by which proceedings of yours, we may 
" neither have cause to repent of our employment 
" of yourself for omitting those opportunities to 
" shorten the wars, nor receive in the eye of the 
" world imputation of so much weakness in ourself, 
" to begin a work without better foresight what 
" would be the end of our excessive charge, the ad- 
" venture of our people s lives, and the holding up 
" of our own greatness against a wretch, whom we 
" have raised from the dust, and who could never 


" prosper, if the charges we have been put to were 
" orderly employed." 

Her majesty in her particular letter written to 
my lord the 30th of July, bindeth, still expressly 
upon the northern prosecution, my lord " ad princi- 
palia rerum," in these words : 

" First, you know right well, when we yielded 
" to this excessive charge, it was upon no other foun- 
" dation than to which yourself did ever advise us 
" as much as any, which was, to assail the northern 
" traitor, and to plant garrisons in his country ; it 
" being ever your firm opinion, amongst other our 
" council, to conclude that all that was done in 
" other kind in Ireland, was but waste and con- 
" sumption." 

Her majesty in her letter of the 9th of August to 
my lord of Essex and the council of Ireland, when, 
after Munster journey, they began in a new time to 
dissuade the northern journey in her excellent ear, 
quickly finding a discord of men from themselves, 
chargeth them in these words : 

" Observe well what we have already written, 
" and apply your counsels to that which may shorten, 
" and not prolong the war ; seeing never any of you 
" was of other opinion, than that all other courses 
tf were but consumptions, except we went on with 
" the northern prosecution." 

The lords of her majesty s council, in their letter 
of the 10th of August to rny lord of Essex and the 
council of Ireland, do in plain terms lay before them 
the first plot, in these words : 


" We cannot deny but we did ground our coun- 
" sels upon this foundation, That there should have 
" been a prosecution of the capital rebels in the 
" North, whereby the war might have been short- 
" ened ; which resolution, as it was advised by 
" yourself before your going, and assented to by 
" most part of the council of war that were 
" called to the question, so must we confess to your 
" lordship, that we have all this while concurred 
" with her majesty in the same desire and expec- 
" tation." 

My lord of Essex, and the council of Ireland, 
in their letter of the 5th of May to the lords of the 
council before the Munster journey, write " in haec 

" Moreover, in your lordships great wisdom, you 
" will likewise judge what pride the rebels will grow 
" to, what advantage the foreign enemy may take, 
<( and what loss her majesty shall receive, if this 
" summer the arch-traitor be not assailed, and gar- 
" risons planted upon him." 

My lord of Essex, in his particular letter of the 
llth of July, to the lords of the council, after Mun 
ster journey, writeth thus : 

" As fast as I can call these troops together, I 
" will go look upon yonder proud rebel, and if I find 
" him on hard ground, and in an open country, 
t( though I should find him in horse and foot three 
tf for one, yet will I by God s grace dislodge him, or 
" put the council to the trouble of," &c. 


The earl of Essex, in his letter of the llth of 
August to the lords of the council, writeth out of 
great affection, as it seemeth, in these words : 

" Yet must these rebels be assailed in the height 
" of their pride, and our base clowns must be taught 
" to fight again ; else will her majesty s honour 
" never be recovered, nor our nation valued, nor this 
" kingdom reduced." 

Besides it was noted, that whereas my lord and 
the council of Ireland, had, by theirs of the 15th of 
July, desired an increase of 2,000 Irish purposely for 
the better setting on foot of the northern service ; 
her majesty, notwithstanding her proportions, by 
often gradations and risings, had been raised to 
the highest elevation, yet was pleased to yield 
unto it. 

1. The first part concerneth my lord s ingress 
into his charge, and that which passed here before 
his going hence ; now followeth an order, both of 
time and matter, what was done after my lord was 
gone into Ireland, and had taken upon him the go 
vernment by her majesty s commission. 

2. The second part then of the first article was 
to shew, that my lord did wilfully and contemptu 
ously, in this great point of estate, violate and in 
fringe her majesty s direction before remembered. 

In delivering of the evidence and proofs of this 
part, it was laid down for a foundation, that there 
was a full performance on her majesty s part of all 
the points agreed upon for this great prosecution, so 


as there was no impediment or cause of interruption 
from hence. 

This is proved by a letter from my lord of Essex 
and the council of Ireland to the lords of the council 
here, dated 9th May, which was some three weeks 
after my lord had received the sword, by which time 
he might well and thoroughly inform himself whe 
ther promise were kept in all things or no, and the 
words of the letter are these : 

" As your lordships do very truly set forth, we 
" do very humbly acknowledge her majesty s charge- 
" able magnificence and royal preparations and 
" transportations of men, munition, apparel, moijey, 
" and victuals, for the recovery of this distressed 
" kingdom ;" where note, the transportations ac 
knowledged as well as the preparations. 

Next, it was set down for a second ground, that 
there was no natural nor accidental impediment in 
the estate of the affairs themselves, against the pro 
secution upon Tyrone, but only culpable impedi 
ments raised by the journey of Minister. 

This appeared by a letter from my lord and the 
council of Ireland to the lords of the council here, 
dated the 28th of April, whereby they advertise, 
that the prosecution of Ulster, in regard of lack 
of grass and forage, and the poorness of cattle 
at that time of year, and such like difficulties of 
the season, and not of the matter, will in better 
time, and with better commodity for the army, be 
fully executed about the middle of June or be- 


ginning of July ; and signify, that the earl intend 
ed a present prosecution should be set on foot in 
Lemster : to which letters the lords make answer 
by theirs of the 8th of May, signifying her majes 
ty s toleration of the delay. 





THOUGH public justice passed upon capital offenders, 
according to the laws, and in course of an honour 
able and ordinary trial, where the case would have 
born and required the severity of martial law to have 
been speedily used, do in itself carry a sufficient 
satisfaction towards all men, specially in a merciful 
government, such as her majesty s is approved to be : 
yet because there do pass abroad in the hands of 
many men divers false and corrupt collections and 
relations of the proceedings at the arraignment of 
the late earls of Essex and Southampton ; and, again, 
because it is requisite that the world do understand 
as well the precedent practices and inducements 
to the treasons, as the open and actual treasons 
themselves, though in a case of life it was not 
thought convenient to insist at the trial upon matter 
of inference or presumption, but chiefly upon matter 
of plain and direct proofs ; therefore it hath been 
thought fit to publish to the world a brief declara- 

* See ante, 274. 


tion of the practices and treasons attempted and 
committed by Robert late earl of Essex and his 
complices against her majesty and her kingdoms, 
and of the proceedings at the convictions of the said 
late earl and his adherents upon the same treasons : 
and not so only, but therewithal, for the better war 
ranting and verifying of the narration, to set down 
in the end the very confessions and testimonies them 
selves word for word, taken out of the originals, 
whereby it will be most manifest that nothing is 
obscured or disguised, though it do appear by divers 
most wicked and seditious libels thrown abroad, that 
the dregs of these treasons which the late earl of 
Essex himself, a little before his death, did term a 
leprosy, that had infected far and near, do yet 
remain in the hearts and tongues of some mis- 
affected persons. 

The most partial will not deny, but that Robert 
late earl of Essex was, by her majesty s manifold 
benefits and graces, besides oath and allegiance, as 
much tied to her majesty, as the subject could be to 
the sovereign ; her majesty having heaped upon him 
both dignities, offices, and gifts, in such measure, as 
within the circle of twelve years, or more, there was 
scarcely a year of rest, in which he did not obtain at 
her majesty s hands some notable addition either of 
honour or profit. 

But he on the other side making these her ma 
jesty s favours nothing else but wings for his ambi 
tion, and looking upon them not as her benefits, but 
as his advantages, supposing that to be his own metal 
which was but her mark and impression, was so 


given over by God, who often punisheth ingratitude 
by ambition, and ambition by treason, and treason 
by final ruin, as he had long ago plotted it in his 
heart to become a dangerous supplanter of that 
seat, whereof he ought to have been a principal sup 
porter ; in such sort as now every man of common 
sense may discern not only his last actual and open 
treasons, but also his former more secret practices 
and preparations towards those his treasons, and 
that without any gloss or interpreter, but himself 
and his own doings. 

For first of all, the world can now expound why 
it was that he did aspire, and had almost attained 
unto a greatness, like unto the ancient greatness of 
the " prasfectus prastorio" under the emperors of 
Rome, to have all men of war to make their sole 
and particular dependence upon him ; that with 
such jealousy and watchfulness he sought to dis 
countenance any one that might be a competitor to 
him in any part of that greatness, that with great 
violence and bitterness he sought to suppress and 
keep down all the worthiest martial men, which did 
not appropriate their respects and acknowledge 
ments only towards himself. All which did mani 
festly detect and distinguish, that it was not the 
reputation of a famous leader in the wars which he 
sought, as it was construed a great while, but only 
power and greatness to serve his own ends, consider 
ing he never loved virtue nor valour in another, but 
where he thought he should be proprietary and com 
mander of it, as referred to himself. 


So likewise those points of popularity which 
every man took notice and note of, as his affable 
gestures, open doors, making his table and his bed 
so popularly places of audience to suitors, denying 
nothing when he did nothing, feeding many men in 
their discontentments against the queen and the 
state, and the like ; as they were ever since Absa 
lom s time the forerunners of treasons following, so 
in him were they either the qualities of a nature 
disposed to disloyalty, or the beginnings and con 
ceptions of that which afterwards grew to shape and 


But as it were a vain thing to think to search the 
roots and first motions of treasons, which are known 
to none but God that discerns the heart, and the 
devil that gives the instigation ; so it is more than to 
be presumed, being made apparent by the evidence 
of all the events following, that he carried into Ire 
land a heart corrupted in his allegiance, and preg 
nant of those or the like treasons which afterwards 
came to light. 

For being a man by nature of an high imagina 
tion, and a great promiser to himself as well as to 
others, he was confident that if he were once the 
first person in a kingdom, and a sea between the 
queen s seat and his, and Wales the nearest land 
from Ireland, and that he had got the flower of the 
English forces into his hands, which he thought so 
to intermix with his own followers, as the whole 
body should move by his spirit, and if he might have 
also absolutely into his own hands " potestatem vitae 


et necis, et arbitrium belli et pacis," over the rebels 
of Ireland, whereby he might entice and make them 
his own, first by pardons and conditions, and after 
by hopes to bring them in place where they should 
serve for hope of better booties than cows, he should 
be able to make that place of lieutenancy of Ireland 
as a rise or step to ascend to his desired greatness in 

And although many of these conceits were 
windy, yet neither were they the less like to his ; 
neither are they now only probable conjectures or 
comments upon these his last treasons, but the very 
preludes of actions almost immediately subsequent, 
as shall be touched in due place. 

But first, it was strange with what appetite and 
thirst he did affect and compass the government of 
Ireland, which he did obtain. For although he 
made some formal shews to put it from him ; yet in 
this, as in most things else, his desires being too 
strong for his dissimulations, he did so far pass the 
bounds of decorum, as he did in effect name himself 
to the queen by such description and such particu 
larities as could not be applied to any other but 
himself; neither did he so only, but farther, he was 
still at hand to offer and urge vehemently and pe 
remptorily exceptions to any other that was named. 
Then after he once found that there was no man 
but himself, who had other matters in his head, so 
far in love with that charge, as to make any compe 
tition or opposition to his pursuit, whereby he saw it 
would fall upon him, and especially after himself 


was resolved upon ; he began to make propositions 
to her majesty by way of taxation of the former 
course held in managing the actions of Ireland, 
especially upon three points ; the first, that the pro 
portions of forces which had been there maintained 
and continued by supplies, were not sufficient to 
bring the prosecutions there to period. The se 
cond, that the axe had not been put to the root of 
the tree, in regard there had not been made a main 
prosecution upon the arch-traitor Tyrone in his 
own strength, within the province of Ulster. The 
third, that the prosecutions before time had been 
intermixed and interrupted with too many tempo 
rizing treaties, whereby the rebel did ever gather 
strength and reputation to renew the war with 
advantage. All which goodly and well-sounding 
discourses, together with the great vaunts, that he 
would make the earth tremble before him, tended 
but to this, that the queen should increase the list 
of her army, and all proportions of treasure and 
other furniture, to the end his commandment might 
be the greater. For that he never intended any 
such prosecution, may appear by this, that even at 
the time before his going into Ireland, he did open 
himself so far in speech to Blunt, his inwardest 
counsellor, " That he did assure himself that many 
of the rebels in Ireland would be advised by him :" 
so far was he from intending any prosecution to 
wards those in whom he took himself to have in 
terest. But his ends were two; the one, to get 
great forces into his hands ; the other, to oblige the 


heads of the rebellion unto him, and to make them 
of his party. These two ends had in themselves a 
repugnancy ; for the one imported prosecution, and 
the other treaty : but he that meant to be too strong 
to be called to account for any thing, and meant be 
sides, when he was once in Ireland, to engage him 
self in other journeys that should hinder the prose 
cution in the North, took things in order as they 
made for him ; and so first did nothing, as was said, 
but trumpet a final and utter prosecution against 
Tyrone in the North, to the end to have his forces 

But yet he forgat not his other purpose of mak 
ing himself strong by a party amongst the rebels, 
when it came to the scanning of the clauses of his 
commission. For then he did insist, and that with 
a kind of contestation, that the pardoning, no not of 
Tyrone himself, the capital rebel, should be excepted 
and reserved to her majesty s immediate grace ; be 
ing infinitely desirous that Tyrone should not look 
beyond him for his life or pardon, but should hold 
his fortune as of him, and account for it to him 

So again, whereas in the commission of the earl 
of Sussex, and of all other lieutenants or deputies, 
there was ever in that clause, which giveth unto the 
lieutenant or deputy that high or regal point of 
authority to pardon treasons and traitors, an excep 
tion contained of such cases of treason as are com 
mitted against the person of the king; it was 
strange, and suspiciously strange even at that time, 

VOL. vi. x 


with what importunity and instance he did labour, 
and in the end prevailed to have that exception also 
omitted, glossing then, that because he had heard 
that by strict exposition of law, (a point in law that 
he would needs forget at his arraignment, but 
could take knowledge of it before, when it was 
to serve his own ambition,) all treasons of rebellion 
did tend to the destruction of the king s per 
son, it might breed a buz in the rebels heads, and 
so discourage them from coming in : whereas he 
knew well that in all experience passed, there was 
never rebel made any doubt or scruple upon that 
point to accept of pardon from all former governors, 
who had their commissions penned with that limita 
tion, their commissions being things not kept secretly 
in a box, but published and recorded : so as it ap 
peared manifestly that it was a mere device of his 
own out of the secret reaches of his heart then not 
revealed ; but it may be shrewdly expounded since, 
what his drift was, by those pardons which he 
granted to Blunt the marshal, and Thomas Lee, and 
others, that his care was no less to secure his own 
instruments than the rebels of Ireland. 

Yet was there another point for whicli he did 
contend and contest, which was, that he might not 
be tied to any opinion of the council of Ireland, as 
all others in certain points, as pardoning traitors, 
concluding war and peace, and some other principal 
articles, had been before him ; to the end he might 
be absolute of himself, and be fully master of oppor- 


tunities and occasions for the performing and exe 
cuting of his own treasonable ends. 

But after he had once, by her majesty s singular 
trust and favour toward him, obtained his patent of 
commission as large, and his list of forces as full as 
he desired, there was an end in his course of the 
prosecution in the North. For being arrived into 
Ireland, the whole carriage of his actions there was 
nothing else but a cunning defeating of that jour 
ney, with an intent, as appeared, in the end of the 
year, to pleasure and gratify the rebel with a dis 
honourable peace, and to contract with him for his 
own greatness. 

Therefore not long after he had received the 
sword, he did voluntarily engage himself in an un 
seasonable and fruitless journey into Munster, a 
journey never propounded in the council there, never 
advertised over hither while it was past : by which 
journey her majesty s forces, which were to be pre 
served intire both in vigour and number for the 
great prosecution, were harassed and tired with long 
inarches together, and the Northern prosecution 
was indeed quite dashed and made impossible. 

But yet still doubting he might receive from her 
majesty some quick and express commandment to 
proceed ; to be sure he pursued his former device of 
wrapping himself in other actions, and so set himself 
on work anew in the county of Ophaley, being re 
solved, as is manifest, to dally out the season, and 
never to have gone that journey at all : that setting 


forward which he made in the very end of August 
being but a mere play and a mockery, and for the 
purposes which now shall be declared. 

After he perceived that four months of the sum 
mer, and three parts of the army were wasted, he 
thought now was a time to set on foot such a peace 
as might be for the rebels advantage, and so to work 
a mutual obligation between Tyrone and himself; 
for which purpose he did but seek a commodity. 
He had there with him in his army one Thomas 
Lee, a man of a seditious and working spirit, and 
one that had been privately familiar and entirely 
beloved of Tyrone, and one that afterwards, imme 
diately upon Essex s open rebellion, was appre 
hended for a desperate attempt of violence against 
her majesty s person ; which he plainly confessed* 
and for which he suffered. Wherefore judging him 
to be a fit instrument, he made some signification to 
Lee of such an employment, which was no sooner 
signified than apprehended by Lee. He gave order 
also to Sir Christopher Blunt, marshal of his army, 
to license Lee to go to Tyrone, when he should 
require it. But Lee thought good to let slip first 
unto Tyrone, which was nevertheless by the mar 
shal s warrant, one James Knowd, a person of wit 
and sufficiency, to sound in what terms and humours 
Tyrone then was. This Knowd returned a mes 
sage from Tyrone to Lee, which was, That if the 
earl of Essex would follow Tyrone s plot, he would 
make the earl of Essex the greatest man that ever 
was in England : and farther, that if the earl would 


have conference with him, Tyrone would deliver his 
eldest son in pledge for his assurance. This message 
was delivered by Knowd to Lee, and by Lee was 
imparted to the earl of Essex, who after this mes 
sage employed Lee himself to Tyrone, and by his 
negociating, whatsoever passed else, prepared and 
disposed Tyrone to the parley. 

And this employment of Lee was a matter of 
that guiltiness in my lord, as, being charged with it 
at my lord keeper s only in this nature, for the mes 
sage of Knowd was not then known, that when he 
pretended to assail Tyrone, he had before underhand 
agreed upon a parley, my lord utterly denied it that 
he ever employed Lee to Tyrone at all, and turned 
it upon Blunt, whom he afterwards required to take 
it upon him, having before sufficiently provided for 
the security of all parts, for he had granted both to 
Blunt and Lee pardons of all treasons under the 
great seal of Ireland, and so, himself disclaiming it, 
and they being pardoned, all was safe. 

But when that Tyrone was by these means, 
besides what others, God knows, prepared to de 
mand a parley, now was the time for Essex to 
acquit himself of all the queen s commandments, 
and his own promises and undertakings for the 
Northern journey ; and not so alone, but to have 
the glory at the disadvantage of the year, being but 
2,500 strong of foot, and 300 of horse, after the 
fresh disaster of Sir Conyers Clifford, in the height 
of the rebels pride, to set forth to assail, and then 
that the very terror and reputation of my lord of 


Essex person was such as did daunt him and make 
him stoop to seek a parley ; and this was the end he 
shot at in that September journey, being- a mere 
abuse and bravery, and but inducements only to the 
treaty, which was the only matter he intended. For 
Essex drawing now towards the catastrophe, or last 
part of that tragedy, for which he came upon the 
stage in Ireland, his treasons grew to a farther ripe 
ness. For knowing how unfit it was for him to 
communicate with any English, even of those whom 
he trusted most, and meant to use in other treasons, 
that he had an intention to grow to an agreement 
with Tyrone, to have succours from him for the 
usurping upon the state here (not because it was 
more dangerous than the rest of his treasons, but 
because it was more odious, and in a kind monstrous, 
that he should conspire with such a rebel, against 
whom he was sent ; and therefore might adventure 
to alienate mens affections from him ;) he drave it 
to this, that there might be, and so there was, 
under colour of treaty, an interview and private 
conference between Tyrone and himself only, no 
third person admitted. A strange course, consider 
ing with whom he dealt, and especially considering 
what message Knowd had brought, which should 
have made him rather call witnesses to him, than 
avoid witnesses. But he being only true to his own 
ends, easily dispensed with all such considerations. 
Nay, there was such careful order taken, that no 
person should overhear one word that passed be 
tween them two, as, because the place appointed 


and used for the parley was such, as there was the 
depth of a brook between them, which made them 
speak with some loudness, there were certain horse 
men appointed by order from Essex, to keep all men 
off a great distance from the place. 

It is true, that the secrecy of that parley, as it 
gave to him the more liberty of treason, so it may 
give any man the more liberty of surmise what was 
then handled between them, inasmuch as nothing 
can be known, but by report from one of them two, 
either Essex or Tyrone. 

But although there were no proceeding against 
Essex upon these treasons, and that it were a need 
less thing to load more treasons upon him then, 
whose burden was so great after ; yet, for truth s 
sake, it is fit the world know what is testified touch 
ing the speeches, letters, and reports of Tyrone, im 
mediately following this conference, and observe 
also what ensued likewise in the designs of Essex 

On Tyrone s part it fell out, that the very day 
after that Essex came to the court of England, Ty 
rone having conference with Sir William Warren at 
Armagh, by way of discourse told him, and bound it 
with an oath, and iterated it two or three several 
times ; That within two or three months he should 
see the greatest alterations and strangest that ever 
he saw in his life, or could imagine : and that he the 
said Tyrone hoped ere long to have a good share in 
England. With this concurred fully the report of 
Richard Bremingham, a gentleman of the pale, 


having made his repair about the same time to Ty 
rone, to right him in a cause of land ; saving that 
Bremingham delivers the like speech of Tyrone to 
himself; but not what Tyrone hoped, but \vhat 
Tyrone had promised in these words, That he had 
promised, it may be thought to whom,, ere long to 
shew his face in England, little to the good of 

These generalties coining immediately from the 
report of Tyrone himself, are drawn to more parti 
cularity in a conference had between the lord Fitz- 
Morrice, baron of Liksnaw in Munster, and one 
Thomas Wood, a person \vell reputed of, imme 
diately after Essex coming into England. In which 
conference Fitz-Morrice declared unto Wood, that 
Tyrone had written to the traitorous titulary earl of 
Desmond to inform him, that the condition of that 
contract between Tyrone and Essex was, That 
Essex should be king of England ; and that Tyrone 
should hold of him the honour and state of viceroy 
of Ireland ; and that the proportion of soldiers 
which Tyrone should bring or send to Essex, were 
8,000 Irish. With which concurreth fully the testi 
mony of the said James Knowd, who, being in 
credit with Owny Mac Roory, chief of the Omoores 
in Lemster, was used as a secretary for him, in the 
writing of a letter to Tyrone, immediately after 
Essex coming into England. The effect of wiiich 
letter was, To understand some light of the secret 
agreement between the earl of Essex and Tyrone, 


that he the said Owny might frame his course 
accordingly. Which letter, with farther instruc 
tions to the same efFect, was in the presence of 
Knowd, delivered to Turlagh Macdauy, a man of 
trust with Owny, who brought an answer from Ty 
rone : the contents whereof were, That the earl of 
Essex had agreed to take his part, and that they 
should aid him towards the conquest of England. 

Besides, very certain it is, and testified by divers 
credible persons, that immediately upon this parley, 
there did fly abroad, as sparkles of this fire, which it 
did not concern Tyrone so much to keep secret, as 
it did Essex, a general and received opinion, that 
went up and down in the mouths both of the better 
and meaner sort of rebels ; That the Earl of Essex 
was theirs, and they his ; and that he would never 
leave the one sword, meaning that of Ireland, till he 
had gotten the other in England ; and that he would 
bring them to serve, where they should have other 
manner of booties than cows ; and the like speeches. 
And Thomas Lee himself, who had been, as was 
before declared, with Tyrone two or three days, 
upon my lord s sending, and had sounded him, hath 
left it confessed under his hand ; That he knew the 
earl of Essex and Tyrone to be one, and to run the 
same courses. 

And certain it is also, that immediately upon 
that parley, Tyrone grew into a strange and unwont 
ed pride, and appointed his progresses and visitations 
to receive congratulations and homages from his con- 


federates, and behaved himself in all things as one that 
had some new spirit of hope and courage put into him. 
But on the earl of Essex his part insued immedi 
ately after this parley a strange motion and project, 
which though no doubt he had harboured in his 
breast before ; yet, for any thing yet appeareth, he 
did not utter and break with any in it, before he 
had been confirmed and fortified in his purpose, by 
the combination and correspondence which he found 
in Tyrone upon their conference. Neither is this a 
matter gathered out of reports, but confessed di 
rectly by two of his principal friends and associates, 
being witnesses upon their, own knowledge, and of 
that which was spoken to themselves : the substance 
of which confession is this : That a little before my 
lord s coming over into England, at the castle of 
Dublin, where Sir Christopher Blunt lay hurt, hav 
ing been lately removed thither from Rheban, a 
castle of Thomas Lee s, and placed in a lodging that 
had been my lord of Southampton s ; the earl of 
Essex took the earl of Southampton with him to 
visit Blunt, and there being none present but they 
three, my lord of Essex told them, he found it now 
necessary for him to go into England, and would 
advise with them of the manner of his going, since 
to go he was resolved. And thereupon propounded 
unto them, that he thought it fit to carry with him 
of the army in Ireland as much as he could conve 
niently transport, at least the choice of it, to the 
number of two or three thousand, to secure and 


make good his first descent on shore, purposing to 
land them at Milford- Haven in Wales, or there 
abouts : not doubting, but that his army would so 
increase within a small time, by such as would come 
in to him, as he should be able to march with his 
power to London, and make his own conditions as 
he thought good. But both Southampton and Blunt 
dissuaded him from this enterprise ; Blunt alleging 
the hazard of it, and that it would make him odious : 
and Southampton utterly disliking of that course, 
upon the same and many other reasons. Howbeit, 
thereupon Blunt advised him rather to another 
course, which was to draw forth of the army some 
200 resolute gentlemen, and with those to come 
over, and so to make sure of the court, and so to 
make his own conditions. Which confessions it is 
not amiss to deliver, by what a good providence 
of God they came to light : for they could not be 
used at Essex s arraignment to charge him, because 
they were uttered after his death. 

But Sir Christopher Blunt at his arraignment, 
being charged that the earl of Essex had set it down 
under his hand, that he had been a principal insti 
gator of him to his treasons, in passion brake forth 
into these speeches : That then he must be forced 
to disclose what farther matters he had held my lord 
from, and desired for that purpose, because the pre 
sent proceeding should not be interrupted, to speak 
with the lord Admiral and Mr. Secretary after his 
arraignment, and so fell most naturally and most vo- 


luntarily into this his confession, which, if it had 
been thought fit to have required of him at that 
time publicly, he had delivered before his convic 
tion. And the same confession he did after, at the 
time of his execution, constantly and fully confirm, 
discourse particularly, and take upon his death, 
where never any man shewed less fear, nor a greater 
resolution to die. 

And the same matter so by him confessed, was 
likewise confessed with the same circumstances of 
time and place by Southampton, being severally 
examined thereupon. 

So as now the world may see how long since my 
lord put off his vizard, and disclosed the secrets of 
his heart to two of his most confident friends, falling 
upon that unnatural and detestable treason, where- 
unto all his former actions in his government in Ire 
land, and God knows how long before, were but in 

But finding that these two persons, which of all 
the rest he thought to have found forwardest, South 
ampton, whose displacing he had made his own 
discontentment, having placed him, no question to 
that end, to find cause of discontentment, and Blunt, 
a man so enterprising and prodigal of his own life, 
as himself termed himself at the bar, did not applaud 
to this his purpose, and thereby doubting how coldly 
he should find others minded, that were not so near 
to him ; and therefore condescending to Blunt s ad 
vice to surprise the court, he did pursue that plot 
accordingly, and came over with a selected company 


of captains and voluntaries, and such as he thought 
were most affectionate unto himself, and most reso 
lute, though not knowing of his purpose. So as 
even at that time every man noted and wondered 
what the matter should be, that my lord took his 
most particular friends and followers, from their 
companies, which were countenance and means unto 
them, to bring them over. But his purpose, as in 
part was touched before, was this ; that if he held 
his greatness in court, and were not committed, 
which, in regard of the miserable and deplored estate 
he left Ireland in, whereby he thought the opinion 
here would be that his service could not be spared, 
he made full account he should not be, then, at the 
first opportunity, he would execute the surprise of 
her majesty s person. And if he were committed to 
the Tower, or to prison, for his contempts, for, be 
sides his other contempts, he came over expressly 
against the queen s prohibition under her signet, it 
might be the care of some of his principal friends, 
by the help of that choice and resolute company 
which he brought over, to rescue him. 

But the pretext of his coming over was, by the 
efficacy of his own presence and persuasion to have 
moved and drawn her majesty to accept of such 
conditions of peace as he had treated of with Tyrone 
in his private conference ; which was indeed some 
what needful, the principal article of them being, 
That there should be a general restitution of rebels 
in Ireland to all their lands and possessions, that 
they could pretend any right to before their going 


out into rebellion, without reservation of such lands 
as were by act of parliament passed to the crown, 
and so planted with English, both in the time of 
queen Mary, and since ; and without difference either 
of time of their going forth, or nature of their 
offence, or other circumstance : tending in effect to 
this, that all the queen s good subjects, in most of 
the provinces, should have been displanted, and the 
country abandoned to the rebels. 

When this man was come over, his heart thus 
fraughted with treasons, arid presented himself to 
her majesty ; it pleased God, in his singular provi 
dence over her majesty, to guide and hem in her pro 
ceeding towards him in a narrow way of safety 
between two perils. For neither did her majesty 
leave him at liberty, whereby he might have com 
modity to execute his purpose ; nor restrain him in 
any such nature, as might signify or betoken matter 
of despair of his return to court and favour. And so 
the means of present mischief being taken away, and 
the humours not stirred, this matter fell asleep, and 
the thread of his purposes was cut off. For coming 
over about the end of September, and not denied 
access and conference with her majesty, and then 
being commanded. to his chamber at court for some 
days, and from thence to the lord-keeper s house, it 
was conceived that these were no ill signs. At my 
lord-keeper s house he remained till some few days 
before Easter, and then was removed to his own 
house, under the custody of Sir Richard Barkley, 


and in that sort continued till the end of Trinity 
term following. 

For her majesty, all this while looking into his 
faults with the eye of her princely favour, and loth 
to take advantage of his great offences, in other 
nature than as contempts, resolved so to proceed 
against him,, as might, to use her majesty s own 
words, tend " ad correctionem, et non ad ruinam." 

Nevertheless afterwards, ahout the end of Tri 
nity term following, for the better satisfaction of the 
world, and to repress seditious bruits and libels 
which were dispersed in his justification, and to ob 
serve a form of justice before he should be set at 
full liberty ; her majesty was pleased to direct, that 
there should be associate unto her privy council some 
chosen persons of her nobility, and of her judges of 
the law, and before them his cause, concerning the 
breaking of his instructions for the Northern prose 
cution, and the manner of his treating with Tyrone, 
and his coming over, and leaving the kingdom of 
Ireland contrary to her majesty s commandment, 
expressed as well by signification thereof, made under 
her royal hand and signet, as by a most binding and 
effectual letter written privately to himself, to re 
ceive a hearing ; with limitation, nevertheless, that 
he should not be charged with any point of disloy 
alty ; and with like favour directed, that he should 
not be called in question in the open and ordinary 
place of offenders, in the Star-chamber, from which 
he had likewise, by a most penitent and humble 


letter, desired to be spared, as that which would 
have wounded him for ever, as he affirmed, but in 
a more private manner, at my lord-keeper s house. 
Neither was the effect of the sentence, that there 
passed against him, any more than a suspension of 
the exercise of some of his places : at which time 
also, Essex, that could vary himself into all shapes 
for a time, infinitely desirous, as by the sequel now 
appeareth, to be at liberty to practise and revive 
his former purposes, and hoping to set into them 
with better strength than ever, because he conceived 
the people s hearts were kindled to him by his trou 
bles, and that they had made great demonstrations 
of as much ; he did transform himself into such a 
strange and dejected humility, as if he had been no 
man of this world, with passionate protestations that 
he called God to witness, That he had made an utter 
divorce with the world ; and he desired her majesty s 
favour not for any worldly respect, but for a prepa 
rative for a " Nunc dimittis" ; and that the tears of 
his heart had quenched in him all humours of ambi 
tion. All this to make her majesty secure, and to 
lull the world asleep, that he was not a man to be 
held any ways dangerous. 

Not many days after, Sir Richard Barkley, his 
keeper, was removed from him, and he set at liberty 
with this admonition only, That he sjiould not take 
himself to be altogether discharged, though he were 
left to the guard of none but his own discretion. But 
he felt himself no sooner upon the wings of his 
liberty, but, notwithstanding his former shews of a 


mortified estate of mind, he began to practise afresh 
as busily as ever, reviving his former resolution ; 
which was the surprising and possessing the queen s 
person and the court. And that it may appear how 
early after his liberty he set his engines on work, 
having long before entertained into his service, and 
during his government in Ireland drawn near unto 
him in the place of his chief secretary, one Henry 
Cuffe, a base fellow by birth, but a great scholar, 
and indeed a notable traitor by the book, being 
otherwise of a turbulent and mutinous spirit against 
all superiors. 

This fellow, in the beginning of August, which 
was not a month after Essex had liberty granted, fell 
of practising with Sir Henry Nevil, that served her 
majesty as leiger ambassador with the French king, 
and then newly come over into England from Bul- 
loign, abusing him with a false lie and mere inven 
tion, that his service was blamed and misliked, and 
that the imputation of the breach of the treaty of 
peace held at Bulloign was like to light upon him, 
when there was no colour of any such matter, only 
to distaste him of others, and fasten him to my lord, 
though he did not acquaint him with any particu 
lars of my lord s designs till a good while after. 

But my lord having spent the end of the sum 
mer, being a private time, when every body was out 
of town and dispersed, in digesting his own thoughts, 
with the help and conference of Mr. Cuffe, they had 
soon set down between them the ancient principle of 
traitors and conspirators, which was, to prepare many, 



and to acquaint few ; and, after the manner of mi 
ners, to make ready their powder, and place it, and 
then give fire but in the instant. Therefore, the 
first consideration w as of such persons as my lord 
thought fit to draw to be of his party ; singling out 
both of nobility and martial men, and others, such 
as were discontented or turbulent, and such as were 
weak of judgment, and easy to be abused, or such 
as were wholly dependents and followers, for means 
or countenance, of himself, Southampton, or some 
other of his greatest associates. 

And knowing there were no such strong and 
drawing cords of popularity as religion, he had not 
neglected, both at this time and long before, in a 
profane policy to serve his turn, for his own great 
ness, of both sorts and factions, both of Catholics 
and puritans, as they term them, turning his outside 
to the one, and his inside to the other ; and making 
himself pleasing and gracious to the one sort by pro 
fessing zeal, and frequenting sermons, and making 
much of preachers, and secretly underhand giving 
assurance to Blunt, Davis, and divers others, that, if 
he might prevail in his desired greatness, he would 
bring in a toleration of the catholic religion. 

Then having passed the whole Michaelmas term 
in making himself plausible, and in drawing con 
course about him, and in affecting and alluring men 
by kind provocations and usage, wherein, because his 
liberty was qualified, he neither forgot exercise of 
mind nor body, neither sermon nor tennis-court, to 
give the occasion and freedom of access and con- 


course unto him, and much other practice and de 
vice ; about the end of that term, towards Christmas, 
he grew to a more framed resolution of the time and 
manner, when and how he would put his purpose in 
execution. And first, about the end of Michaelmas 
term, it passed as a kind of cypher and watch-word 
amongst his friends and followers, That my lord 
would stand upon his guard : which might receive 
construction, in a good sense, as well guard of cir 
cumspection, as guard of force : but to the more 
private and trusty persons he was content it should 
be expounded that he would be cooped up no more, 
nor hazard any more restraints or commandments. 

But the next care was how to bring such per 
sons, as he thought fit for his purpose, into town 
together, without vent of suspicion, to be ready at 
the time, when he should put his design in execu 
tion ; which he had concluded should be some time 
in Hilary term ; wherein he found many devices to 
draw them up, some for suits in law, and some for 
suits in court, and some for assurance of land : and 
one friend to draw up another, it not being perceived 
that all moved from one head. And it may be truly 
noted, that in the catalogue of those persons that 
were the eighth of February in the action of open 
rebellion, a man may find almost out of every coun 
try of England some ; which could not be by chance 
or constellation : and in the particularity of exami 
nations, too long to be rehearsed, it was easy to trace 
in what sort many of them were brought up to town, 
and held in town upon several pretences. But in 


Candlemas term, when the time drew near, then was 
he content consultation should be had by certain 
choice persons, upon the whole matter and course 
which he should hold. And because he thought him- 
.self and his own house more observed, it was thought 
fit that the meeting and conference should be at 
Drury-house, where Sir Charles Davers lodged. 
There met at this council, the earl of Southampton, 
with whom in former times he had been at some 
emulations and differences in court : but after, 
Southampton having married his kinswoman, and 
plunged himself wholly into his fortune, and being 
his continual associate in Ireland, he accounted of 
him as most assured unto him, and had long ago in 
Ireland acquainted him with his purpose, as was de 
clared before : Sir Charles Davers, one exceedingly 
devoted to the earl of Southampton, upon affection 
begun first upon the deserving of the same earl 
towards him, when he was in trouble about the mur 
der of one Long : Ser Ferdinando Gorge, one that the 
earl of Essex had of purpose sent for up from his 
government at Plymouth by his letter, with parti 
cular assignation to be here before the second of 
February : Sir John Davis, one that had been his 
servant, and raised by him, and that bare office in 
the Tower, being surveyor of the ordnance, and one 
that he greatly trusted : and John Littleton, one 
they respected for his wit and valour. 

The consultation and conference rested upon three 
parts : the perusal of a list of those persons, whom 
they took to be of their party ; the consideration of 


the action itself which they should set a-foot, and 
how they should proceed in it ; and the distribution 
of the persons, according to the action concluded on, 
to their several employments. 

The list contained the number of sixscore per 
sons, noblemen, and knights, and principal gentle 
men, and was, for the more credit s sake, of the earl 
of Essex own hand-writing. 

For the action itself, there was proposition 
made of two principal articles : the one of posses 
sing the Tower of London ; the other of surprising 
her majesty s person and the court ; in which also 
deliberation was had, what course to hold with the 
city, either towards the effecting of the surprise, or 
after it was effected. 

For the Tower, was alleged the giving a reputa 
tion to the action, by getting into their hand the 
principal fort of the realm, with the stores and pro 
visions thereunto appertaining, the bridling of the 
city by that piece, and commodity of entrance in 
and possessing it, by the means of Sir John Davis. 
But this was by opinion of all rejected, as that which 
would distract their attempt from the more princi 
pal, which was the court, and as that which they 
made a judgment would follow incidently, if the 
court were once possessed. 

But the latter, which was the ancient plot, as 
was well known to Southampton, was in the end, 
by the general opinion of them all, insisted and 
rested upon. 

And the manner how it should be ordered and 


disposed was this : That certain selected persons of 
their number, such as were well known in court, 
and might have access, without check or suspicion, 
into the several rooms in court, according to the se 
veral qualities of the persons, and the differences of 
the rooms, should distribute themselves into the pre 
sence, the guard-chamber, the hall, and the utter 
court and gate, and some one principal man under 
taking every several room with the strength of some 
few to be joined with him, every man to make good 
his charge, according to the occasion. In which 
distribution, Sir Charles Davers was then named to 
the presence, and to the great chamber, where he 
was appointed, when time should be, to seize upon 
the halberds of the guard ; Sir John Davis to the 
hall ; and Sir Christopher Blunt to the utter gate ; 
these seeming to them the three principal wards of 
consideration : and that things being within the 
court in a readiness, a signal should be given and 
sent to Essex, to set forward from Essex-house, 
being no great distance off. Whereupon Essex, ac 
companied with the noblemen of his party, and such 
as should be prepared and assembled at his house 
for that purpose, should march towards the court ; 
and that the former conspirators already entered 
should give correspondence to them without, as well 
by making themselves masters of the gates to give 
them entrance, as by attempting to get into their 
hand upon the sudden the halberds of the guard, 
thereby hoping to prevent any great resistance with 
in, and by filling all full of tumult and confusion. 


This being the platform of their enterprise, the 
second act of this tragedy was also resolved, which 
was, that my lord should present himself to her ma 
jesty, as prostrating himself at her feet, and desire 
the remove of such persons as he called his enemies 
from about her. And after that my lord had ob 
tained possession of the queen, and the state, he 
should call his pretended enemies to a trial upon 
their lives, and summon a parliament, and alter the 
government, and obtain to himself and his associa 
tes such conditions as seemed to him and them 

There passed a speech also in this conspiracy of 
possessing the city of London, which Essex himself, 
in his own particular and secret inclination, had ever 
a special mind unto : not as a departure or going 
from his purpose of possessing the court, but as an 
inducement and preparative to perform it upon a 
surer ground ; an opinion bred in him, as may be 
imagined, partly by the great over weaning he had 
of the love of the citizens ; but chiefly, in all likeli 
hood, by a fear, that although he should have pre 
vailed in getting her majesty s person into his hands 
for a time, with his two or three hundred gentle 
men, yet the very beams and graces of her majesty s 
magnanimity and prudent carriage in such disaster, 
working with the natural instinct of loyalty, which 
of course, when fury is over, doth ever revive in the 
hearts of subjects of any good blood or mind, such 
as his troop for the more part was compounded of, 
though by him seduced and bewitched, would quick- 


ly break the knot, and cause some disunion and se 
paration amongst them, whereby he might have been 
left destitute, except he should build upon some more 
popular number, according to the nature of all usurp 
ing rebels, which do ever trust more in the common 
people, than in persons of sort or quality. And 
this may well appear by his own plot in Ireland, 
which was to have come with the choice of the army, 
from which he was diverted, as before is shewed. So 
as his own courses inclined ever to rest upon the 
main strength of the multitude, and not upon sur 
prises, or the combinations of a few. 

But to return : these were the resolutions taken 
at that consultation, held by these five at Drury- 
house, some five or six days before the rebellion, to 
be reported to Essex, who ever kept in himself the 
binding and directing voice : which he did to pre 
vent all differences that might grow by dissent or 
contradiction. And besides he had other persons, 
which were Cuffe and Blunt, of more inwardness 
and confidence with him than these, Southampton 
only excepted, which managed that consultation. 
And, for the day of the enterprise, which, is that 
must rise out of the knowledge of all the opportuni 
ties and difficulties, it was referred to Essex his own 
choice and appointment ; it being nevertheless re 
solved, that it should be some time before the end of 
Candlemas term. 

But this council and the resolutions thereof, were 
in some points refined by Essex, and Cuffe, and 
Blunt : for, first it was thought good, for the better 


making sure of the utter gate of the court, and the 
greater celerity and suddenness, to have a troop at 
receipt to a competent number, to have come from 
the Mews, where they should have heen assembled 
without suspicion in several companies, and from 
thence cast themselves in a moment upon the court- 
gate, and join with them which are within, while- 
Essex with the main of his company were making 

It was also thought fit, that because they would 
be commonwealth s men, and foresee, that the busi 
ness and service of the public state should not stand 
still ; they should have ready at court, and at hand, 
certain other persons to be offered, to supply the 
offices and places of such her majesty s counsellors 
and servants, as they should demand to be removed 
and displaced. 

But chiefly it was thought good, that the as 
sembling of their companies together should be upon 
some plausible pretext : both to make divers of their 
company, that understood not the depth of the prac 
tices, the more willing to follow them ; and to en 
gage themselves, and to gather them together the 
better without peril of detecting or interrupting : 
and again, to take the court the more unprovided, 
without any alarm given. So as now there wanted 
nothing but the assignation of the day : which ne 
vertheless was resolved indefinitely to be before the 
end of the term, as was said before, for the putting 
in execution of this most dangerous and execrable 
treason. But God, who had in his divine providence 


long ago cursed this action with the curse that the 
psalm speaketh of, " That it should be like the un 
timely fruit of a woman, brought forth before it 
came to perfection," so disposed above, that her ma 
jesty, understanding by a general charm and mut 
tering of the great and universal resort to Essex- 
house, contrary to her princely admonition, and 
somewhat differing from his former manner,, as there 
could not be so great fire without some smoke, upon 
the seventh of February, the afternoon before this 
rebellion, sent to Essex-house Mr. Secretary Her 
bert, to require him to come before the lords of her 
majesty s council, then sittting in council at Salis 
bury-court, being the lord treasurer s house : where 
it was only intended, that he should have received 
some reprehension, for exceeding the limitations of 
his liberty, granted to him in a qualified manner, 
without any intention towards him of restraint; 
which he, under colour of not being well, excused 
to do : but his own guilty conscience applying it, 
that his trains were discovered, doubting peril in any 
farther delay, determined to hasten his enterprise, 
and to set it on foot the next day. 

But then again, having some advertisement in 
the evening, that the guards were doubled at court, 
and laying that to the message he had received over 
night ; and so concluding that alarm was taken at 
court, he thought it to be in vain to think of the en 
terprise of the court, by way of surprise : but that 
now his only way was, to come thither in strength, 
and to that end first to attempt the city : wherein 


he did but fall back to his own former opinion, 
which he had in no sort neglected, but had formerly 
made some overtures to prepare the city to take his 
part ; relying himself, besides his general conceit, 
that himself was the darling and minion of the people, 
and specially of the city, more particularly upon as 
surance given of Thomas Smith, then sheriff of Lon 
don, a man well beloved amongst the citizens, and 
one that had some particular command of some of 
the trained forces of the city, to join with him. Hav 
ing therefore concluded upon this determination, 
now w- as the time to execute in fact all that he had 
before in purpose digested. 

First, therefore, he concluded of a pretext which 
was ever part of the plot, and which he had medita 
ted upon and studied long before. For finding him 
self, thanks be to God, to seek, in her majesty s go 
vernment, of any just pretext in matter of state, 
either of innovation, oppression, or any unworthi- 
ness : as in all his former discontentments he had 
gone the beaten path of traitors, turning their impu 
tation upon counsellors, and persons of credit with 
their sovereign ; so now he was forced to descend to 
the pretext of a private quarrel, giving out this 
speech, how that evening, when he should have been 
called before the lords of the council, there was an 
ambuscade of musketeers placed upon the water, by 
the device of my lord Cobham and Sir Walter Ra 
leigh, to have murdered him by the way as he passed : 
a matter of no probability ; those persons having no 
such desperate estates or minds, as to ruin them- 


selves and their posterity, by committing so odious 
a crime. 

But contrariwise, certain it is, Sir Ferdinando 
Gorge accused Blunt, to have persuaded him to 
kill, or at least apprehend Sir Walter Raleigh ; 
the latter whereof Blunt denieth not, and asked 
Sir Walter Raleigh forgiveness at the time of his 

But this pretext, being the best he had, was 
taken : and then did messages and warnings fly 
thick up and down to every particular nobleman 
and gentleman, both that evening and the next 
morning, to draw them together in the forenoon to 
Essex-house, dispersing the foresaid fable, That he 
should have been murdered ; save that it was some 
time on the water, sometime in his bed, varying ac 
cording to the nature of a lie. He sent likewise the 
same night certain of his instruments, as namely, 
one William Temple, his secretary, into the city to 
disperse the same tale, having increased it some few 
days before by an addition, That he should have 
been likewise murdered by some Jesuits to the num 
ber of four : and to fortify this pretext, and to make 
the more buz of the danger he stood in, he caused 
that night a watch to be kept all night long, towards 
the street, in his house. The next morning, which 
was Sunday, they came unto him of all hands, ac 
cording to his messages and warnings : of the nobi 
lity, the earls of Rutland, Southampton, and the 
lord Sands, and Sir Henry Parker, commonly called 
the lord Mountegle ; besides divers knights and 


principal gentlemen and their followers, to the num 
ber of some three hundred. And also it being Sun 
day, and the hour when he had used to have a ser 
mon at his house, it gave cause to some and colour 
to others to come upon that occasion. As they came, 
my lord saluted and embraced, and to the generality 
of them gave to understand, in as plausible terms as 
he could, That his life had been sought, and that he 
meant to go to the court and declare his griefs to the 
queen, because his enemies were mighty, and used 
her majesty s name and commandment; and desired 
their help to take his part ; but unto the more spe 
cial persons, he spake high, and in other terms, tell 
ing them, That he was sure of the city, and would 
put himself into that strength, that her majesty 
should not be able to stand against him, and that he 
would take revenge of his enemies. 

All the while after eight of the clock in the 
morning, the gates to the street and water were 
strongly guarded, and men taken in and let forth by 
discretion of those that held the charge, but with 
special caution of receiving in such as came from 
court, but not suffering them to go back without 
my lord s special direction, to the end no particu 
larity of that which passed there might be known to 
her majesty. 

About ten of the clock, her majesty having un 
derstanding of this strange and tumultuous assem 
bly at Essex-house, yet in her princely wisdom and 
moderation thought to cast water upon this fire be 
fore it brake forth to farther inconvenience : and 


therefore using authority before she would use force, 
sent unto him four persons of great honour and 
place, and such as he ever pretended to reverence 
and love, to offer him justice for any griefs of his, 
but yet to lay her royal commandment upon him to 
disperse his company, and upon them to withdraw 

These four honourable persons, being the lord 
Keeper of the great seal of England, the earl of 
Worcester, the Comptroller of her majesty s house 
hold, and the lord Chief Justice of England, came 
to the house, and found the gates shut upon them. 
But after a little stay, they were let in at the 
wicket ; and as soon as they were within, the wicket 
was shut, and all their servants kept out, except the 
bearer of the seal. In the court they found the earls 
with the rest of the company, the court in a manner 
full, and upon their coming towards Essex, they all 
flocked and thronged about them ; whereupon the 
lord Keeper in an audible voice delivered to the 
earl the queen s message, That they were sent by 
her majesty to understand the cause of this their 
assembly, and to let them know that if they had any 
particular cause of griefs against any persons what- 
sover, they should have hearing and justice. 

Whereupon the earl of Essex in a very loud and 
furious voice declared, That his life was sought, and 
that he should have been murdered in his bed, and 
that he had been perfidiously dealt withal ; and 
other speeches to the like effect. To which the 
lord Chief Justice said, If any such matter were 


attempted or intended against him, it was fit for 
him to declare it, assuring him both a faithful rela 
tion on their part, and that they could not fail of a 
princely indifferency and justice on her majesty s 

To which the earl of Southampton took occasion 
to object the assault made upon him by the lord 
Gray : which my lord Chief Justice returned upon 
him, and said, That in that case justice had been 
done, and the party was in prison for it. 

Then the lord Keeper required the earl of 
Essex, that if he would not declare his griefs 
openly, yet that then he would impart them pri 
vately ; and then they doubted not to give him or 
procure him satisfaction. 

Upon this there arose a great clamour among 
the multitude : " Away, my lord, they abuse you, 
they betray you, they undo you, you lose time." 
Whereupon my lord Keeper put on his hat, and said 
with a louder voice than before, " My lord, let us 
speak with you privately, and understand your 
griefs ; and I do command you all upon your alle 
giance, to lay down your weapons and to depart." 
Upon which words the earl of Essex and all the 
rest, as disdaining commandment, put on their hats ; 
and Essex somewhat abruptly went from him into 
the house, and the counsellors followed him, think 
ing he would have private conference with them as 
was required. 

And as they passed through the several rooms, 
they might hear many of the disordered company 


cry, " Kill them, kill them ;" and others crying, 
" Nay, but shop them up, keep them as pledges, 
cast the great seal out at the window ;" and other 
such audacious and traiterous speeches. But Essex 
took hold of the occasion and advantage, to keep in 
deed such pledges if he were distressed, and to have 
the countenance to lead them with him to the court, 
especially the two great magistrates of justice, and 
the great seal of England, if he prevailed, and to 
deprive her majesty of the use of their counsel in 
such a strait, and to engage his followers in the 
very beginning by such a capital act, as the impri 
sonment of counsellors carrying her majesty s royal 
commandment for the suppressing of a rebellious 

And after that they were come up into his book- 
chamber, he gave order they should be kept fast, 
giving the charge of their custody principally to Sir 
John Davis, but adjoined unto him a warder, one 
Owen Salisbury, one of the most seditious and 
wicked persons of the number, having been a noto 
rious robber, and one that served the enemy under 
Sir William Stanley, and that bare a special spleen 
unto my lord Chief Justice ; who guarded these 
honourable persons with muskets charged, and 
matches ready fired at the chamber door. 

This done, the earl, notwithstanding my lord 
Keeper still required to speak with him, left the 
charge of his house with Sir Gilly Merick ; and, 
using these words to my lord Keeper, " Have pa 
tience for a while, I will go take order with the 


mayor and sheriffs for the city, and be with you 
again within half an hour ;" issued with his troop 
into London, to the number of two hundred, be 
sides those that remained in the house, choice men 
for hardiness and valour, unto whom some gentle 
men and one nobleman did after join themselves. 

But from the time he went forth, it seems God 
did strike him with the spirit of amazement, and 
brought him round again to the place whence ho 
first moved. 

For after he had once by Ludgate entered into 
the city, he never had so much as the heart or 
assurance to speak any set or confident speech to 
the people, (but repeated only over and over his tale 
as he passed by, that he should have been mur 
dered,) nor to do any act of foresight or courage ; 
but he that had vowed he would never be cooped 
up more, cooped himself first within the walls of the 
city, and after within the walls of an house, as 
arrested by God s justice as an example of disloyalty. 
For passing through Cheapside, and so towards 
Smith s house, and finding though some came about 
him, yet none joined or armed with him, he pro 
voked them by speeches as he passed to arm, telling 
them, They did him hurt and no good, to come 
about him with no weapons. 

But there was not in so populous a city, where 
he thought himself held so dear, one man, from the 
chiefest citizen to the meanest artificer or prentice, 
that armed with him : so as being extremely ap 
palled, as divers that happened to see him then 
VOL. vi. z 


might visibly perceive in his face and countenance, 
and almost moulten with sweat, though without any 
cause of bodily labour but only by the perplexity 
and horror of his mind, he came to Smith s house the 
sheriff, where he refreshed himself a little and 
shifted him. 

But the mean while it pleased God, that her 
majesty s directions at court, though in a case so 
strange and sudden, were judicial and sound. For 
first there was commandment in the morning given 
unto the city, that every man should be in a readi 
ness both in person and armour, but yet to keep 
within his own door, and to expect commandment ; 
upon a reasonable and politic consideration, that 
had they armed suddenly in the streets, if there 
were any ill disposed persons, they might arm on 
the one side and turn on the other, or at least, if 
armed men had been seen to and fro, it would have 
bred a greater tumult, and more blood-shed ; and 
the nakedness of Essex s troop would not have so 
well appeared. 

And soon after, direction was given that the 
lord Burghley, taking with him the king of heralds, 
should declare him traitor in the principal parts of 
the city ; which was performed with good expedition 
and resolution, and the loss and hurt of some of his 
company. Besides that, the earl of Cumberland, 
and Sir Thomas Gerard, knight-marshal, rode into 
the city, and declared and notified to the people 
that he was a traitor : from which time divers of his 
troop withdrawing from him, and none other coming 


in to him, there was nothing but despair. For 
having stayed a while, as is said, at sheriff Smith s 
house, and there changing his pretext of a private 
quarrel, and publishing, that the realm should have 
been sold to the Infanta, the better to spur on the 
people to rise, and called, and given commandment 
to have arms brought and weapons of all sorts, and 
being soon after advertised of the proclamation, he 
came forth in a hurry. 

So having made some stay in Gracechurch- 
street, and being dismayed upon knowledge given to 
him that forces were coming forwards against him 
under the conduct of the lord Admiral, the lieute 
nant of her majesty s forces ; and not knowing what 
course to take, he determined in the end to go back 
towards his own house, as well in hope to have found 
the counsellors there, and by them to have served 
some turn, as upon trust that towards night his 
friends in the city would gather their spirits toge 
ther, and rescue him, as himself declared after to the 
lieutenant of the Tower. 

But for the counsellors, it had pleased God to 
make one of the principal offenders his instrument 
for their delivery ; who seeing my lord s case des 
perate, and contriving how to redeem his fault and 
save himself, came to Sir John Davis, and Sir Gilly 
Merick, as sent from my lord ; and so procured 
them to be released. 

But the earl of Essex, with his company that 
was left, thinking to recover his house, made on by 
land towards Ludgate ; where being resisted by a 


company of pikemen and other forces, gathered to 
gether by the wise and diligent care of the bishop 
of London, and commanded by Sir John Luson, and 
yet attempting to clear the passage, he was with no 
great difficulty repulsed. At which encounter Sir 
Christopher Blunt was sore wounded, and young 
Tracy slain on his part ; and one Waits on the 
queen s part, and some others. Upon which repulse 
he went back and fled towards the water-side, and 
took boat at Queenhithe, and so was received into 
Essex-house at the water-gate, which he fortified 
and barricado d ; but instantly the lord-lieutenant 
so disposed his companies, as all passage and issue 
forth was cut off from him both by land and by 
water, and all succours that he might hope for were 
discouraged : and leaving the earl of Cumberland, 
the earl of Lincoln, the lord Thomas Howard, the 
lord Gray, the lord Burghley, and the lord Comp- 
ton, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Thomas Gerard, with 
divers others, before the house to landward, my 
lord-lieutenant himself thought good, taking with 
him the lord of Effingham, lord Cobham, Sir John 
Stanhope, Sir Robert Sidney, M. Foulk Grevill, 
with divers others, to assail the garden and banquet- 
ing-house on the water-side, and presently forced 
the garden, and won to the w r alls of the house, and 
was ready to have assailed the house ; but out of a 
Christian and honourable consideration, understand 
ing that there were in the house the countess of 
Essex, and the lady Rich, with their gentlewomen, 
let the earl of Essex know by Sir Robert Sidney, 


that he was content to suffer the ladies and gentle 
women to come forth. Whereupon Essex return 
ing the lord-lieutenant thanks for the compassion 
and care he had of the ladies, desired only to have 
an hour s respite to make way for their going out, 
and an hour after to barricade the place again : 
which because it could make no alteration to the 
hindrance of the service, the lord -lieutenant thought 
good to grant. But Essex, having had some talk 
within of a sally, and despairing of the success, and 
thinking better to yield himself, sent word, that 
upon some conditions he would yield. 

But the lord-lieutenant utterly refusing to hear 
of capitulation, Essex desired to speak with my lord, 
who thereupon went up close to the house ; and the 
late earls of Essex and Southampton, with divers 
other lords and gentlemen their partakers, pre 
sented themselves upon the leads ; and Essex said, 
he would not capitulate, but intreat ; and made 
three petitions. The first, that they might be 
civilly used : whereof the lord-lieutenant assured 
them. The second, that they might have an ho 
nourable trial : whereof, the lord-lieutenant an 
swered, they needed not to doubt. The third, that 
he might have Ashton a preacher with him in prison 
for the comfort of his soul ; which the lord-lieutenant 
said he would move to her majesty, not doubting of 
the matter of his request, though he could not ab 
solutely promise him that person. Whereupon they 
all, with the ceremony amongst martial men accus 
tomed, came down and submitted themselves, and 


yielded up their swords, which was about ten of the 
clock at night ; there having been slain in holding 
of the house by musket-shot Owen Salisbury, and 
some few more on the part of my lord, and some 
few likewise slain and hurt on the queen s part : and 
presently, as well the lords as the rest of their con 
federates of quality, were severally taken into the 
charge of clivers particular lords and gentlemen, 
and by them conveyed to the Tower and other 

So as this action, so dangerous in respect of the 
person of the leader, the manner of the combination, 
and the intent of the plot, brake forth and ended 
within the compass of twelve hours, and with the 
loss of little blood, and in such sort as the next day 
all courts of justice were open, and did sit in their 
accustomed manner, giving good subjects and all 
reasonable men just cause to think, not the less of 
the offender s treason, but the more of her majesty s 
princely magnanimity and prudent foresight in so 
great a peril, and chiefly of God s goodness, that 
hath blessed her majesty in this, as in many things 
else, with so rare and divine felicity. 

The effect of the evidence given at the several 
arraignments of the late earls of ESSEX and 
SOUTHAMPTON, before the lord Steward ; and of 
VERS, and others, before great and honourable 
Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer: and of 
the answers and defences which the said offenders 


made for themselves ; and the replies made upon 
such their defences : with some other circum 
stances of the proceedings, as well at the same 
arraignments as after. 

THE two late earls of Essex and Southampton 
were brought to their trial the nineteenth of Febru 
ary, eleven days after the rebellion. At which trial 
there passed upon them twenty-five peers, a greater 
number than hath been called in any former prece 
dent. Amongst whom her majesty did not forbear 
to use many that were of near alliance and blood 
to the earl of Essex, and some others, that had 
their sons and heirs apparent that were of his com 
pany, and followed him in the open action of rebel 
lion. The lord Steward then in commission, accord 
ing to the solemnity in such trials received, was the 
lord Buckhurst, lord high treasurer, who with gra 
vity and temperance directed the evidence, and mo 
derated, and gave the judgment. There was also 
an assistance of eight judges, the three chief, and 
five others. The hearing was with great patience 
and liberty : the ordinary course not being held, to 
silence the prisoners till the whole state of the evi 
dence was given in ; but they being suffered to 
answer articulately to every branch of the evidence, 
and sometimes to every particular deposition, when 
soever they offered to speak : and not so only, but 
they were often spared to be interrupted, even in 
their digressions and speeches not much pertinent to 
their cause. And always when any doubt in law 


was moved, or when it was required either by the 
prisoners or the peers, the lord Steward required the 
judges to deliver the law ; who gave their opinions 
severally, not barely yea or no, but at large with 
their reasons. 

In the indictment were not laid or charged the 
treasons of Ireland, because the greatest matter, 
which was the design to bring over the army of Ire 
land, being then not confessed nor known ; it was 
not thought convenient to stuff the indictment with 
matters which might have been conceived to be 
chiefly gathered by curious inquisition, and grounded 
upon report or presumption, when there was other 
matter so notorious. And besides, it was not un 
likely, that in his case, to whom many were so par 
tial, some, who would not consider how things came 
to light by degrees, might have reported that he was 
twice called in question about one offence. And 
therefore the late treasons of his rebellion and con 
spiracy were only comprehended in the indictment* 
with the usual clauses and consequents in law, of 
compassing the queen s death, destruction, and depri 
vation, and levying war, and the like. 

The evidence consisted of two parts : the plot of surpris 
ing her majesty s person in court, and the open rebel 
lion in the city. 

THE plot was opened according to the former 
narration, and proved by the several confessions, of 
four witnesses, fully and directly concurring in the 
point ; sir Christopher Blunt, sir Charles Davers, 


sir John Davis, and sir Ferdinando Gorge. Of which 
number, though sir Christopher Blunt were not at 
the council held at Drury-house, no more than Essex 
himself was ; yet he was privy to that which passed. 
Sir Ferdinando Gorge being prisoner in the Gate 
house, near the place of trial, was, at the request of 
the earl of Essex, brought thither, and avouched 
" viva voce" his confession in all things. 

And these four proved all particularities of sur 
prising the court, and the manner of putting the 
same in execution, and the distributing and naming 
of the principal persons and actors to their several 
charges ; and the calling of my lord s pretended ene 
mies to trial for their lives, and the summoning of a 
parliament, and the altering of the government. 
And sir Christopher Blunt, and sir John Davis from 
sir Christopher Blunt, did speak to the point of bring, 
ing in a toleration of the catholic religion. 

For the overt rebellion in the city itself, it was likewise 
opened, according to the former narration, and di 
vided itself naturally into three parts. 

FIRST, the imprisonment of the counsellors, bring 
ing her majesty s royal commandment to them, upon 
their allegiance to disperse their forces. Secondly, 
the entering the city, and the stirring of the people 
to rise, as well by provoking them to arm, as by giv 
ing forth the slanders that the realm was sold to the 
Spaniard, and the assailing of the queen s forces at 
Ludgate. And thirdly, the resistance and keeping 


of the house against her majesty s forces under the 
charge and conduct of the lord-lieutenant. 

And albeit these parts were matters notorious, 
and within almost every man s view and knowledge ; 
yet, for the better satisfaction of the peers, they were 
fully proved by the oath of the lord chief justice of 
England, being there present, " viva voce," and the 
declaration of the Earl of Worcester, being one of 
the peers likewise, " viva voce," touching so much as 
passed about the imprisonment of themselves and 
the rest ; and by the confessions of the earl of Rut 
land, the lord Sandys, the lord Cromwell, and others. 

The defence of the late earl of Essex, touching 
the plot and consultation at Drury-house, was : 
That it was not proved that he was at it ; and that 
they could shew nothing, proving his consent or pri 
vity, under his hand. 

Touching the action in the city, he justified the 
pretext of the danger of his life to be a truth. He 
said that his speech, that the realm should have been 
sold to the Infanta of Spain, was grounded upon a 
report he had heard, that sir Robert Cecil should say 
privately, That the Infanta s title to the crown, after 
her majesty, was as good as any other. He excused 
the imprisonment of the counsellors to have been 
against his mind, forced upon him by his unruly com 
pany. He protested he never intended in his heart 
any hurt to her majesty s person ; that he did desire 
to secure his access to her, for which purpose he 
thought to pray the help of the city, and that he 


did not arm his men in warlike sort, nor struck up 
drum, nor lik. 

The defence of the late earl of Southampton to 
his part in the plot, and consultation at Drury-house, 
was : That it was a matter debated, but not re 
solved nor concluded; and that the action which 
was executed, was not the action which was con 
sulted upon. And for the open action in the city, 
he concurred with Essex, with protestation of the 
clearness of his mind for any hurt to the queen s per 
son : and that it was but his affection to my lord of 
Essex that had drawn him into the cause. This was 
the substance and best of both their defences. Unto 
which the reply was : 

Defence. To the point, that the late earl of Essex 
was not at the consultation at Drury-house : 

Reply. It was replied, that it was proved by all 
the witnesses, that that consultation was held by his 
special appointment and direction, and that both the 
list of the names and the principal articles were of 
his own hand-writing. And whereas he said, they 
could not be shewed extant under his hand ; it was 
proved by the confession of my lord of Rutland, and 
the lord Sandys, that he had provided for that him 
self. For after he returned out of the city to his own 
house, he burned divers papers which he had in a 
cabinet, because, as himself said, they should tell no 

Defence. To the point which Southampton alleged 
That the consultation at Drury-housc> upon the list and 
articles in writing, was not executed : 


Reply. It was replied, that both that consulta 
tion in that manner held, if none other act had fol 
lowed, was treason : and that the rebellion following 
in the city, was not a desisting from the other plot, 
but an inducement and pursuance of it ; their mean 
ing being plain on all parts, that after they had 
gotten the aid of the city, they would have gone and 
possessed the court. 

Defence. To the point, that it was a truth that 
Essex should have been assailed by his private enemies : 
Reply. First, he was required to deliver who it 
was that gave him the advertisement of it ; because 
otherwise it must light upon himself, and be thought 
his own invention : whereunto he said, that he would 
name no man that day. 

Then it was shewed how improbable it was, con 
sidering that my lord Cobham and sir Walter Raleigh 
were men whose estates were better settled and 
established than to overthrow their fortunes by such 
a crime. 

Besides, it was shewed how the tale did not hang 
together, but varied in itself, as the tale of the two 
judges did, when one said, under the mulberry-tree, 
and another said, under the fig-tree. So sometimes 
it was, that he should have been murdered in his 
bed, and sometimes upon the water, and sometimes 
it should have been performed by Jesuits some days 

Thirdly, it was asked what reference the going 
into the city for succour against any his private ene 
mies had to the imprisoning of the lord Keeper, and 


the lord Chief Justice, persons that he pretended to 
love and respect ; and the earl of Worcester his kins 
man, and Master Comptroller his uncle, and the 
publishing to the people, that the realm should have 
been sold to the Spaniard. 

And lastly, it was said, that these were the an 
cient footsteps of former traitors, to make their quar 
rel as against their private enemies, because God 
unto lawful kings did ever impart such beams of his 
own glory, as traitors could not look straight upon 
them, but ever turned their pretences against some 
about them ; and that this action of his resembled 
the action of Pisistratus of Athens, that proceeded so 
far in this kind of fiction and dissimulation, as he 
lanced his own body, and came hurt and wounded 
before the people, as having been assailed by his pri 
vate enemies ; and by colour thereof obtained a 
guard about his person, by help of whom he after 
usurped upon the state. 

Defence. To the point, that he heard it reported 
Mr. Secretary should say, That the Infantas title to 
the crown, after her majesty, was as good as any other : 

Reply. Upon this his allegation, Mr. Secretary 
standing out of sight in a private place, only to hear, 
being much moved with so false and foul an accusa 
tion, came suddenly forth, and made humble request 
to the lord Steward, that he might have the favour 
to answer for himself. Which being granted him, 
in respect of the place he carried, after a bitter con 
testation on his part with the earl, and a serious 


protestation of his alienation of heart from the 
Spanish nation in any such condition, he still urged 
the earl to name the reporter, that all the circum 
stances might be known. But the earl still warily 
avoiding it, Mr. Secretary replied, That seeing he 
would allege no author, it ought to be reputed his 
own fiction. Whereupon the earl of Essex said, 
Though his own conscience was a sufficient testi 
mony to himself that he had not invented any un 
truth, yet he would affirm thus much for the world s 
farther satisfaction in that behalf, that the earl of 
Southampton also had heard so much reported of 
Mr. Secretary ; but said still that he, for his part, 
would name nobody. Whereupon Mr. Secretary 
adjured the earl of Southampton, by all former 
friendship, which had been indeed very great be 
tween them, that he would declare the person ; 
which he did presently, and said it was Mr. Comp 
troller. At which speech Mr. Secretary straight 
took hold and said, That he was glad to hear him 
named of all others ; for howsoever some malicious 
person might peradventure have been content to give 
credit to so injurious a conceit of him, especially such 
as were against the peace wherein he was employed, 
and for which the earl of Essex had ever hated him, 
being ever desirous to keep an army on his own de 
pendency, yet he did think no man of any under 
standing would believe that he could be so senseless 
as to pick out the earl of Essex his uncle to lay open 
to him his affection to that nation, in a matter of so 


odious and pernicious consequence ; and so did very 
humbly crave it at the hands of the lord Steward, 
and all the peers, that Mr. Comptroller might be 
sent for, to make good his accusation. 

Thereupon the lord Steward sent a Serjeant at 
arms for Mr. Comptroller, who presently came 
thither, and did freely and sincerely deliver, that he 
had only said, though he knew not well to whom, 
that Mr. Secretary and he walking in the garden at 
court one morning about two years since, and talk 
ing casually of foreign things, Mr. Secretary told 
him, that one Doleman had maintained in a book, 
not long since printed, that the Infanta of Spain had 
a good title to the crown of England : which was 
all, as Mr. Comptroller said, that ever he heard Mr. 
Secretary speak of that matter. And so the weak 
foundation of that scandal being quickly discerned, 
that matter ended ; all that could be proved being 
no other, than that Mr. Comptroller had told an 
other, who had told the earl of Essex, that 
Mr. Secretary said to him that such a book said 
so ; which every man could say that hath read it, 
and no man better knew than the earl himself, to 
whom it was dedicated. 

Defence. To the point of both their protestations, 
that they intended no hurt to her majesty s person : 

Reply. First, the judges delivered their opinions 
for matter in law upon two points : the one, that in 
case where a subject attempteth to put himself into 
such strength as the king shall not be able to resist 
him, and to force and compel the king to govern 


otherwise than according to his own royal authority 
and direction, it is manifest rebellion. The other, 
that in every rebellion the law intendeth as a conse 
quent, the compassing the death and deprivation of the 
king, as foreseeing that the rebel will never suffer 
that king to live or reign, which might punish or 
take revenge of his treason and rebellion. And it 
was inforced by the queen s counsel, that this is not 
only the wisdom of the laws of the realm which so 
defineth of it, but it is also the censure of foreign 
laws, the conclusion of common reason, which is the 
ground of all laws, and the demonstrative assertion 
of experience, which is the warranty of all reason. 
For first, the civil law maketh this judgment, that 
treason is nothing else but " crimen laesae majesta- 
tis," or "diminutae majestatis," making every offence 
which abridgeth or hurteth the power and authority 
of the prince, as an insult or invading of the crown, 
and extorting the imperial sceptre. And for com 
mon reason, it is not possible that a subject should 
once come to that height as to give law to his sove 
reign, but what with insolency of the change, and 
what with terror of his own guiltiness, he will never 
permit the king, if he can choose, to recover autho 
rity ; nor, for doubt of that, to continue alive. And 
lastly, for experience, it is confirmed by all stories 
and examples, that the subject never obtained a 
superiority and command over the king, but there 
followed soon after the deposing and putting of the 
king to death, as appeareth in our own chronicles, in 
two notable particulars of two unfortunate kings : 


the one of Edward the second, who when he kept 
himself close for danger, was summoned by procla 
mation to come and take upon him the government 
of the realm : but as soon as he presented himself 
was made prisoner, and soon after forced to resign, 
and in the end tragically murdered in Berkley 
castle. And the other of king Richard the second, 
who though the duke of Hereford, after king Henry 
the fourth, presented himself before him with three 
humble reverences, yet in the end was deposed and 
put to death. 

Defence. To the point of not arming his men 
otherwise than with pistols, rapiers, and daggers, it was 
replied : 

Reply. That that course was held upon cunning, 
the better to insinuate himself into the favour of the 
city, as coming like a friend with an All hail, or kiss, 
and not as an enemy, making full reckoning that the 
city would arm him, and arm with him ; and that 
he took the pattern of his action from the day of the 
barricadoes at Paris, where the duke of Guise en 
tering the city but with eight gentlemen, prevailing 
with the city of Paris to take his part, as my lord of 
Essex, thanks be to God, failed of the city of Lon 
don, made the king, whom he thought likewise to 
have surprised, to forsake the town, and withdraw 
himself into other places, for his farther safety. And 
it was also urged against him out of the confession 
of the earl of Rutland and others, that he cried out 
to the citizens, " That they did him hurt and no 
good, to come without weapons ;" and provoked 



them to arm : and finding they would not be moved 
to arm with him, sought to arm his own troops. 

This, point by point, was the effect of the reply. 
Upon all which evidence both the earls were found 
guilty of treason by all the several voices of every 
one of the peers, and so received judgment. 

The names of the peers that passed upon the trial of the 
two earls. 

Earl of Oxford. Lord Cobham. 

Earl of Shrewsbury. Lord Stafford. 

Earl of Derby. Lord Gray. 

Earl of Cumberland. Lord Lumley. 

Earl of Worcester. Lord Windsor. 

Earl of Sussex. Lord Rich. 

Earl of Hertford. Lord Darcy de Chichey. 

Earl of Lincoln. Lord Chandos. 

Earl of Nottingham. Lord Hunsdon. 

Lord Viscount Bindon. Lord St John de Bletso 

Lord Compton. 

Lord De la Ware. Lord Burghley. 

Lord Morley. Lord Howard of Walden. 

The names of the judges that assisted the court. 

Lord Chief Justice. Justice Fenner. 

Lord Chief Justice of Justice Walmsly. 

the Common Pleas. Baron Clerke. 

Lord Chief Baron. Justice Kingsmill. 
Justice Gawdy. 


Some particularities of that which passed after the 
arraignment of the late earls, and at the time of 
the suffering of the earl of Essex. 

BUT the earl of Essex, finding that the consulta 
tion at Drury-house, and the secret plots of his pre 
meditated and prepensed treasons were come to light, 
contrary to his expectation, was touched, even at 
his parting from the bar, with a kind of remorse ; 
especially because he had carried the manner of his 
answer, rather in a spirit of ostentation and glory, 
than with humility and penitence : and brake out in 
the hall, while the lords were in conference, into 
these words ; " That seeing things were thus car 
ried, he would ere it be long say more than yet 
was known." Which good motion of his mind 
being, after his coming back to the Tower, first 
cherished by M. D. of Norwich, but after wrought 
on by the religious and effectual persuasions and 
exhortations of Mr. Abdy Ashton his chaplain, the 
man whom he made suit by name to have with him 
for his soul s health, as one that of late time he had 
been most used unto, and found most comfort of, 
comparing it, when he made the request, to the case 
of a patient, that in his extremity would be desirous 
to have that physician that was best acquainted with 
his body ; he sent word the next day, to desire to 
speak with some of the principal counsellors, with 
whom he desired also that particularly Mr. Secre 
tary might come for one. Upon which his request., 
first the lord Admiral and Mr. Secretary, and after? 


wards at two several times the lord Keeper of the 
great seal, the lord High Treasurer, the lord High 
Admiral, and Mr. Secretary repaired unto him : 
before whom, after he had asked the lord Keeper 
forgiveness, for restraining him in his house, and Mr. 
Secretary for having wronged him at the bar, con 
cerning the matter of the Infanta, with significa 
tion of his earnest desire to be reconciled to them, 
which was accepted with all Christian charity and 
humanity ; he proceeded to accuse heavily most of 
his confederates for carrying malicious minds to the 
state, and vehemently charged Cuffe his man to his 
own face, to have been a principal instigator of him 
in his treasons ; and then disclosed how far Sir 
Henry Neville, her majesty s late ambassador, was 
privy to all the conspiracy ; of whose name till then 
there had not been so much as any suspicion. And 
farther, at the lords first coming to him, not sticking 
to confess that he knew her majesty could not be 
safe while he lived, did very earnestly desire this 
favour of the queen, that he might die as privately 
as might be. 

And the morning before his execution, there 
being sent unto him, for his better preparation, Mr. 
Doctor Mountford, and Mr. Doctor Barlow, to join 
with Mr. Abdy Ashton his chaplain, he did in many 
words thank God that he had given him a deeper 
insight into his offence, being sorry he had so stood 
upon his justification at his arraignment : since which 
time, he said, he was become a new man, and 
heartily thanked God also that his course was by 


God s providence prevented. For, if his project had 
taken effect, " God knoweth," said he, " what harm 
it had wrought in the realm," 

He did also humbly thank her majesty, that he 
should die in so private a manner, for he suffered in 
the Tower-yard, and not upon the hill, by his own 
special suit, lest the acclamation of the people, for 
those were his own words, might be a temptation to 
him : adding, that all popularity and trust in man 
was vain, the experience whereof himself had felt : 
and acknowledged farther unto them, that he was 
justly and worthily spewed out, for that was also 
his own word, of the realm, and that the nature of 
his offence was like a leprosy that had infected far 
and near. And so likewise at the public place of 
his suffering, he did use vehement detestation of his 
offence, desiring God to forgive him his great, his 
bloody, his crying, and his infectious sin : and so 
died very penitently, hut yet with great conflict, as 
it should seem, for his sins. For he never men 
tioned, nor remembered there, wife, children, or 
friend, nor took particular leave of any that were 
present, but wholly abstracted and sequestered him 
self to the state of his conscience, and prayer. 

The effect of that which passed at the arraignments 

THE fifth of March, by a very honourable com 
mission of Oyer and Terminer, directed to the lord 


High Admiral, the lord Chamherlain, Mr. Secretary, 
the lord Chief Justice of England, Mr. Chancellor of 
the exchequer, Mr. Secretary Herbert, with divers 
of the judges, the commissioners sitting in the court 
of the Queen s Bench, there were arraigned and tried 
by a jury both of aldermen of London, and other 
gentlemen of good credit and sort, Sir Christopher 
Blunt, Sir Charles Davers, Sir John Davis, Sir Gilly 
Merick, and Henry Cuffe. The three first where 
of, before they pleaded, asked this question of the 
judges : Whether they might not confess the indict 
ment in part, and plead not guilty to it in the other 
part ? But being resolved by the judges, that their 
pleading must be general ; they pleaded Not guilty, 
as did likewise the other two, without any such 
question asked. The reason of that question was, 
as they confessed, in respect of the clause laid in the 
indictment ; That they intended and compassed the 
death and destruction of the queen s majesty : unto 
whose person, although they confessed at the bar, as 
they had done in their examinations, that their mean 
ing was to come to her in such strength, as they 
should not be resisted, and to require of her divers 
conditions and alterations of government, such as in 
their confessions are expressed, nevertheless they 
protested, they intended no personal harm to herself. 
Whereupon as at the arraignment of the two earls, 
so then again the judges delivered the rule of the law; 
that the wisdom and foresight of the laws of this 
land maketh this judgment. That the subject that 
rebelleth or riseth in forcible manner to over-rule the 


royal will and power of the king, intendeth to de 
prive the king both of crown and life : and that the 
law judgeth not of the fact by the intent, but of the 
intent by the fact. And the queen s counsel did 
again inforce that point, setting forth that it was 
no mystery or quiddity of the common law, hut it 
was a conclusion infallible of reason and experience ; 
for that the crown was not a ceremony or garland, 
but consisted of pre-eminence and power. 

And therefore, when the subject will take upon 
him to give law to the king, and to make the power 
sovereign and commanding to become subject and 
commanded ; such subject layeth hold of the crown, 
and taketh the sword out of the king s hands. And 
that the crown was fastened so close upon the king s 
head, that it cannot be pulled off, but that head, and 
life, and all will follow ; as all examples, both in fo 
reign stories and here at home, do make manifest. 
And therefore, when their words did protest one 
thing, and their deeds did testify another, they were 
but like the precedent of the protestation used by 
Manlius the lieutenant of Cataline, that conspired 
against the state of Rome, who began his letter to the 
senate with these words : " Deos hominesque tester, 
patres conscripti, nos nihil aliud, &c." 

And it was said farther, that admitting their pro 
testations were so far true, that they had not at 
that time in their minds a formed and distinct cogi 
tation to have destroyed the queen s person ; yet no 
thing was more variable and mutable than the mind 
of man, and specially " Honores mutant mores" : 


when they were once aloft, and had the queen in 
their hands, and were peers in my lord of Essex his 
parliament, who could promise of what mind they 
would then be ? especially when my lord of Essex 
at his arraignment had made defence of his first 
action of imprisoning the privy counsellors, by pre 
tence that he was inforced to it by his unruly com 
pany. So that if themselves should not have had, 
or would not seem to have had, that extreme and 
devilish wickedness of mind, as to lay violent hands 
upon the queen s sacred person ; yet, what must be 
done to satisfy the multitude and secure their party, 
must be then the question : wherein the example 
was remembered of Richard the third, who, though 
he were king in possession, and the rightful inheri 
tors but infants, could never sleep quiet in his bed, 
till they were made away. Much less would a Ca- 
tilinary knot and combination of rebels, that did 
rise without so much as the fume of a title, ever 
endure, that a queen that had been their sovereign^ 
and, had reigned so many years in such renown and 
policy, should be longer alive than made for their 
own turn. And much speech was used to the same 
end. So that in the end all those three at the bar 
said, that now they were informed, and that they 
descended into a deeper consideration of the matter, 
they were sorry they had not confessed the indict 
ment. And sir Christopher Blunt, at the time of his 
suffering, discharged his conscience in plain terms, 
and said publicly before all the people, that he saw 
plainly with himself, that if they could not have ob- 


tained all that they would, they must have drawn 
blood even from the queen herself. 

The evidence given in against them three, was 
principally their own confessions, charging every one 
himself, and the other, and the rest of the evidence 
used at the arraignment of the late earls, and men 
tioned before : save that, because it was perceived, 
that that part of the charge would take no labour 
nor time, being plain matter and confessed, and be 
cause some touch had been given, in the proclama 
tion, of the treasons of Ireland, and chiefly because 
Sir Christopher Blunt was marshal of the army in 
Ireland, and most inward with my lord in all his 
proceedings there ; and not so only, but farther in 
the confession of Thomas Lee it was precisely con 
tained, that he knew the earl of Essex and Tyrone, 
and Blunt the marshal, to be all one, and to run one 
course ; it was thought fit to open some part of the 
treasons of Ireland, such as were then known. 
Which very happily gave the occasion for Blunt to 
make that discove y of the purpose to have invaded 
the realm with the army of Ireland : which he then 
offered, and afterwards uttered, and in the end 
sealed with his blood, as is hereafter set down. 

Against Cuffe was given in evidence, both Sir 
Charles Davers s confession, who charged him, when 
there was any debating of the several enterprises 
which they should undertake, that he did ever bind 
firmly and resolutely for the court : and the accusa 
tion under the earl s hand, avouched by him to his 
face, that he was a principal instigator of him in his 


treasons : but especially a full declaration of Sir 
Henry Neville s, which describeth and planteth forth 
the whole manner of his practising with him. 

The fellow, after he had made some introduction 
by an artificial and continued speech, and some time 
spent in sophistical arguments, descended to these 
two answers : the one, for his being within Essex- 
house tli at day, the day of the rebellion, they might 
as well charge a lion within a grate with treason, as 
him ; and for the consultation at Drury-house, it was 
no more treason than the child in the mother s belly 
is a child. But it was replied, that for his being in 
the house, it was not compulsory, and that there was 
a distribution in the action, of some to make good 
the house, and some to enter the city, and the one 
part held correspondent to the other, and that in 
treasons there were no accessaries, but all princi 

And for the consultation at Drury-house, it was 
a perfect treason in itself, because the compassing of 
the king s destruction, which by judgment of law 
was concluded and implied in that consultation, was 
treason in the very thought and cogitation, so as 
that thought be proved by an overt act : and that 
the same consultation and debating thereupon was an 
overt act, though it had not been upon a list of 
names, and articles in writing, much more being 
upon matter in writing. 

And again : the going into the city was a pur 
suance and inducement of the enterprise to possess 
the court, and not a desisting or departure from it. 


And lastly, it was ruled by the judges for law, 
That if many do conspire to execute treason against 
the prince in one manner, and some of them do exe 
cute it in another manner, yet their act, though 
differing in the manner, is the act of all them that 
conspire, by reason of the general malice of the in 

Against Sir Gilly Merick, the evidence that was 
given, charged him chiefly with the matter of the 
open rebellion, that he was as captain or commander 
over the house, and took upon him charge to keep 
it, and make it good as a place of retreat for those 
which issued into the city, and fortifying and barri 
cading the same house, and making provision of mus 
kets, powder, pellets, and other munition and wea 
pons for the holding and defending of it> and as a 
busy, forward, and noted actor in that defence and 
resistance, which was made against the queen s 
forces brought against it by her majesty s lieu 

And farther to prove him privy to the plot, it 
was given in evidence, that some few days before the 
rebellion, with great heat and violence he had dis 
placed certain gentlemen lodged in an house fast by 
Essex-house, and there planted divers of my lord s 
followers and complices, all such as went forth with 
him in the action of rebellion. 

That the afternoon before the rebellion, Merick, 
with a great company of others that afterwards were 
all in the action, had procured to be played before 
them the play of deposing king Richard the second. 


Neither was it casual, but a play bespoken by 

And not so only, but when it was told him by 
one of the players, that the play was old, and they 
should have loss in playing it, because few would 
come to it : there were forty shillings extraordinary 
given to play it, and so thereupon played it was. 

So earnest he was to satisfy his eyes with the 
sight of that tragedy, which he thought soon after 
his lordship should bring from the stage to the state, 
but that God turned it upon their own heads. 

The speeches of Sir Christopher Blunt at his execu 
tion, are set down as near as they could be remem 
bered, after the rest of the confessions and evi 

Here follow the voluntary confessions themselves, such 
as were given in evidence at both the several ar 
raignments, taken forth word for word out of the 
originals : whereby it may appear how God brought 
matters to light, at several times, and in several 
parts, all concurring in substance : and with them 
other declarations and parts of evidence. 

The confession of THOMAS LEE, taken the 1 1th of 
February 1600, before Sir JOHN PEYTON, lieute 
nant of the Tower ; ROGER WILBRAHAM, master 
of the Requests; Sir ANTHONY SAINTLEGER, master 
of the Rolls in Ireland ; and THOMAS FLEMING, her 
majesty s Solicitor general. 


THIS examinate saith, that Tyrone sent a mes 
sage to this examinate by James Knowd, whom this 
examinate by the marshal s warrant in writing had 
sent to Tyrone before himself went to Tyrone, that 
if the earl of Essex would follow his plot, he would 
make him the greatest man that ever was in England, 
and that, when Essex and Tyrone should have con 
ference together, for his assurance unto the earl of 
Essex, Tyrone would deliver his eldest son in pledge 
to the earl. And with this message this examinate 
made the Earl of Essex acquainted before his com 
ing to this examinate s house, at that time when this 
examinate was sent to Tyrone. 

This examinate saith, he knew that Essex, Ty 
rone, and the marshal Sir Christopher Blunt, were 
all one, and held all one course. 

Exam, per JOHN PEYTON, 




The declaration of Sir WILLIAM WARREN, 
3 Octobris, 1599- 

THE said Sir William came to Armagh the last 
Friday, being the twenty-eight of September : from 
thence he sent a messenger in the night to Tyrone to 
Dungannon, signifying his coming to Armagh, as 
aforesaid, and that the next morning he would meet 
Tyrone at the fort of Blackwater : where accordingly 
the said Tyrone met with him ; and after other 


speeches, by farther discourse the said Tyrone told 
the said Sir William, and delivered it with an oath, 
that within these two months he should see the great 
est alteration, and the strangest, that he the said Sir 
William could imagine, or ever saw in his life : and 
said, that he hoped, before it was long, that he the said 
Tyrone should have a good share in England : which 
speeches of the alteration Tyrone reiterated two or 
three several times. 


Certified from the council of Ireland to 
the lords of the council here. 

The declaration of THOMAS WOOD, 20 Januarii, 
1599, taken before the lord BUCKHURST, lord 
High Treasurer ; the earl of NOTTINGHAM, 
lord High Admiral ; Sir ROBERT CECIL, prin 
cipal Secretary ; and Sir J. FORTESCUE, Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer. 

The said Wood said, that happening to be with 
the lord Fitzmorris baron of Licksnaw, at his house at 
Licksnaw, between Michaelmas and Alhallowtide 
last, the said baron walking abroad with the said 
Wood, asked of him what force the earl of Essex was 
of in England; he answered, he could not tell, but 
said he was well beloved of the commonalty. Then 
said the baron, that the earl was gone for England* 
and had discharged many of the companies of Ireland* 
and that it was agreed that he should be king of 
England, and Onele to be viceroy of Ireland ; and 
whensoever he should have occasion, and would send 


for them, Onele should send him eight thousand men 
out of Ireland. The said Wood asked the baron, how 
he knew that ? He answered, that the earl of Des 
mond had written to him so much. 


Confessed in the presence of THOMAS BUCKHURST 


The confession of JAMES KNOWD, taken the 
16th of February 1600, before Sir ANTHONY 
SAINTLEGER, master of the Rolls in Ireland, 
and ROGER WILBRAHAM, master of the Re 

OWNEY MAC RORY having secret intelligence of 
the friendship between the earl of Essex and Tyrone, 
wrote to Tyrone, desiring him to certify him thereof, 
whereby he might frame his course accordingly, and 
not do any thing contrary to their agreement : which 
letter myself did write by Owney s appointment, for 
then I was in credit with him ; in which letter he also 
desired Tyrone to send him some munition. The let 
ter, with instructions to that effect, was in my pre 
sence delivered to one Turlagh mac Davy o Kelly, a 
man of secrecy, sufficiency, and trust with Owney ; and 
he carried it to Tyrone : before whose return Owney 
grew suspicious of me, because I sometimes belonged 
to Mr. Bo wen, and therefore they would not trust me, 
so as I could not see the answer : but yet I heard by 


many of their secret council, that the effect thereof 
was, That the earl of Essex should be king of Eng^ 
land, and Tyrone of Ireland. 

Afterwards I met with Turlagh mac Davy, the 
messenger aforesaid, and asked him whether he 
brought an answer of the letter from Tyrone. He 
said he did, and delivered it to Owney. And then I 
asked him what he thought of the wars. He told me 
he had good hope the last year, and had none this 
year : his reason was, as he said, that the earl of Essex 
was to take their part, and they should aid him to 
wards the conquest of England ; and now they were 
hindered thereof by means of his apprehension. 

I, dwelling with the tanist of the country, my 
mother s cousin german, heard him speak sundry times, 
that now the earl of Essex had gotten one of the 
swords, he would never forego his government until 
he became king of England, which was near at hand. 

I saw a letter which the earl of Essex writ to 
Owney, to this effect; That if Owney came to him, 
he would speak with him about that, which if he 
would follow, should be happy for him and his 



The declaration of DAVID HETHRINGTON, an ancient 
captain and servitor in Ireland, 6 Janurary, 1599, 
taken before the lord BUCKHURST, lord High Trea- 


surer ; the earl of NOTTINGHAM, lord High Admiral ; 
Sir ROBERT CECIL, principal Secretary; and Sir 
JOHN FORTESCUE, Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

He, the said David Hethrington, riding into the 
edge of the county of Kildare, about the end of the 
first cessation, fortuned to meet with one James Oc- 
curren, one of the horsemen of Master Bowen provost 
marshal of Lemster, who told him, that the said James 
Occurren meeting lately with a principal follower 
of Owney mac Rory, chief of the Moores, Owney s 
man asked him what news he heard of the earl of 
Essex ? To which James Occurren answered, that he 
was gone for England : whereunto he said, Nay, if 
you can tell me no news, I can tell you some ; the 
earl of Essex is now in trouble for us, for that he 
would do no service upon us ; which he never meant 
to do, for he is ours, and we are his. 


Confessed in the presence of THO. BUCKHURST, 


The first confession of Sir FERDINANDO GORGE, knight, 
the 16th of February, 1600, taken before Sir 
THOMAS EGERTON, lord keeper of the great seal ; 
the lord BUCKHURST, lord High Treasurer ; the 
earl of NOTTINGHAM, lord High Admiral ; and Sir 
ROBERT CECIL, principal Secretary. 

VOL. vi. BB 


He saith, the earl of Essex wrote a letter to him 
in January, complaining of his misfortune : that he 
desired his company, and desired his repair up to him 
by the second of February ; that he came to town on 
Saturday seven-night before the earl s insurrection, 
and that the same night late he visited the earl : who, 
after compliments, told him that he stood on his guard, 
and resolved not to hazard any more commandments 
or restraints ; that he desired him to rest him that 
night, and to repair unto him again, but in such sort 
as it might not be noted. 

That he had been with the earl two or three times 
that week ; and on Saturday, being the seventh of 
February, the earl told him that he had been sent for 
by the lords, and refused to come : delivering farther, 
that he resolved to defend himself from any more 

He farther saith, that it was in question the same 
Saturday night, to have stirred in the night, and to 
have attempted the court. But being demanded, 
whether the earl could have had sufficient company 
to have done any thing in the night : he answered 9 
that all the earl s company were ready at one 
hour s warning, and had been so before, in respect 
that he had meant long before to stand upon his 

That it was resolved to have the court first at 
tempted ; that the earl had three hundred gentlemen 
to do it ; but that he the said Ferdinando Gorge was 
a violent dissuader of him from that purpose ; and the 


earl most confident in the party of London, which he 
meant, upon a later dispute, first to assure ; and that 
he was also assured of a party in Wales, but meant 
not to use them, until he had been possessed of the 

That the earl and Sir Christopher Blunt under 
standing that Sir Walter Raleigh had sent to speak 
with him in the morning, the said Sir Christopher 
Blunt persuaded him, either to surprise Sir Walter 
Raleigh, or to kill him. Which when he utterly re 
fused, Sir Christopher Blunt sent four shot after him 
in a boat. 

That at the going out of Essex-house gate, many 
cried out, To the court, to the court. But my lord 
of Essex turned him about towards London. 

That he meant, after possession of the court, to 
call a parliament, and therein to proceed as cause 
should require. 

At that time of the consultation on Saturday 
night, my lord was demanded, what assurance he had 
of those he made account to be his friends in the city ? 
Whereunto he replied, that there was no question to 
be made of that, for one, amongst the rest, that was 
presently in one of the greatest commands amongst 
them, held himself to be interested in the cause, for 
so he phrased it, and was colonel of a thousand men, 
which were ready at all times ; besides others that 
he held himself as assured of, as of him, and able to 
make as great numbers. Some of them had at that 
instant, as he reported to us, sent unto him, taking 
notice of as much as he made us to know of the pur- 


pose intended to haveintrapped him, and made request 
to know his pleasure. 


Exam, per THO. EGERTON, C. S. 

The second confession of Sir FFRDINANDO GORGE, the 
18th of February, 1600, all written of his own 
hand ; and acknowledged in the presence of Sir 
THOMAS EGERTON, lord Keeper of the great seal ; 
the lord BUCKHURST, lord High Treasurer ; the 
earl of NOTTINGHAM, lord High Admiral ; and Sir 
ROBERT CECIL, principal Secretary. 
On Tuesday before the insurrection, as I remem 
ber, I was sent unto by my lord of Essex, praying 
me to meet my lord of Southampton, Sir Charles 
Davers, Sir John Davis, and other his friends at 
Drury-house ; where I should see a schedule of his 
friends names, and projects to be disputed upon. 
Whither I came accordingly, and found the foresaid 
earl, Sir Charles Davers, Sir John Davis, and one Mr. 
Littleton. The names were shewed and numbered 
to be six score; earls, barons, knights, and gentlemen. 
The projects were these, whether to attempt the 
court, or the Tower, or to stir his friends in London 
first, or whether both the court and Tower at an 
instant ? I disliked that counsel. My reasons were 
that I alleged to them, first, to attempt both with 
those numbers, was not to be thought on, because 
that was not sufficient ; and therefore advised them 


to think of something else. Then they would needs 
resolve to attempt the court, and withal desired 
mine opinion. But I prayed them first to set 
down the manner how it might be done. Then 
Sir John Davis took ink and paper, and assigned to 
divers principal men their several places ; some to 
keep the gate, some to be in the hall, some to be in 
the presence, some in the lobby, some in the guard- 
chamber, others to come in with my lord himself, 
who should have had the passage given him to the 
privy-chamber, where he was to have presented him. 
self to her majesty. 


Knowledged in the presence of THO. EGERTON, C. S. 


The confession of Sir JOHN DAVIS, taken the 18th of 
February, 1600, before the earl of NOTTINGHAM^ 
lord High Admiral; Sir ROBERT CECIL, principal 
Secretary ; and JOHN HERBERT, second Secretary 
of State. 

SIR JOHN DAVIS being demanded, how long be 
fore my lord Essex tumult he knew of such his pur 
pose ? 

He answers, that he knew not directly of any 
meaning my lord had, until the Sunday seven-night 
before, or thereabout. 

Being demanded, what he knew ? Then he an- 


swered, that my lord consulted to possess himself of 
the court, at such convenient time when he might 
find least opposition. For executing of which enter 
prises, and of other affairs, he appointed my lord of 
Southampton, Sir Charles Davers, Sir Ferdinando 
Gorge, and himself, to meet at Drury-house, and 
there to consider of the same, and such other projects 
as his lordship delivered them : and principally, for 
surprising of the court, and for the taking of the 
Tower of London. About which business they had 
two meetings, which were five or six days before the 

He farther saith, that Sir Christopher Blunt was 
not at this consultation, but that he stayed and ad 
vised with my lord himself about other things to 
him unknown : for that my lord trusted several men 
in several businesses, and not all together. 

Being demanded, what was resolved in the opi 
nions of these four before named ? He saith, that Sir 
Charles Davers was appointed to the presence-cham 
ber, and himself to the hall : and that my lord was 
to determine himself, who should have guarded the 
court-gate and the water-gate. And that Sir Charles 
Davers, upon a signal or a watch-word, should have 
come out of the presence into the guard-chamber ; 
and then some out of the hall to have met him, and 
so have stept between the guard and their halberds; 
of which guard they hoped to have found but a dozen, 
or some such small number. 

Being asked, whether he heard that such as my 
lord misliked should have received any violence ? 


He saith, that my lord avowed the contrary, and 
that my lord said, he would call them to an honour 
able trial, and not use the sword. 

Being demanded, whether my lord thought his 
enemies to be Spanish, " bona fide," or no ? He saith, 
that he never heard any such speech ; and if my 
lord used any such, it came into his head on the 

Being demanded, what party my lord had in 
London 1 He saith, that the sheriff Smith was his 
hope, as he thinketh. 

Being demanded, whether my lord promised 
liberty of catholic religion ? He saith, that Sir 
Christopher Blunt did give hope of it. 


Exam, per NOTTINGHAM, 

The first confession of Sir CHARLES DAVERS, taken the 
18th of February, anno 1600, before Sir THOMAS 
EGERTON, lord Keeper of the great seal ; the lord 
BUCKHURST, lord High Treasurer ; the earl of 
NOTTINGHAM, the lord High Admiral ; lord HUNS- 
DON, lord Chamberlain ; and Sir ROBERT CECIL, 
principal Secretary. 

HE confesseth, that before Christmas the earl of 
Essex had bethought himself, how he might secure 
his access unto the queen in such sort as he might 
not be resisted ; but no resolution determinately 


taken, until the coming up of this exanimate a little 
after Christmas. 

And then he doth confess, that the resolution was 
taken to possess himself of the court ; which resolu 
tion was taken agreeable to certain articles, which 
the earl of Essex did send to the earl of Southamp 
ton, this examinate, Sir Ferdinando Gorge, and Sir 
John Davis, written with the earl s own hand. To 
which consultation, being held at Drury-house, some 
four or five days before Sunday, that was the eighth 
of February, Littleton came in towards the end. 

The points which the earl of Essex projected 
under his hand were these : 

First, whether it were fit to take the Tower of 
London. The reason whereof was this: that after the 
court was possessed, it was necessary to give reputa 
tion to the action, by having such a place to bridle 
the city, if there should be any mislike of their pos 
sessing the court. 

To the possessing of the court, these circumstan 
ces were considered : 

First, the earl of Essex should have assembled all 
the noblemen and gentlemen of quality on his party; 
out of which number he should have chosen so many 
as should have possessed all the places of the court, 
where there might have been any likelihood of re 
sistance : which being done, the earl of Essex, with 
divers noblemen, should have presented himself to 
the queen. 

The manner how it should have been executed, 
was in this sort : Sir Christopher Blunt should have 


had charge of the outer gate, as he thinketh. Sir 
Charles Pavers, this examinate, with his company, 
should have made good the presence, and should 
have seized upon the halberds of the guard. Sir 
John Davis should have taken charge of the hall. 
All this heing set, upon a signal given, the earl 
should have come into the court with his com 

Being asked, what they would have done after ? 
he saith, They would have sent to have satisfied the 
city, and have called a parliament. 

These were the resolutions set down by the 
earl of Essex of his own hand, after divers consul 

He saith, Cuffe was ever of opinion, that the 
earl of Essex should come in this sort to the court. 


Exam, per THO. EGERTON, C. S. 

The second confession of Sir CHARLES DAVERS, taken 
the same day, and set down upon farther calling 
himself to remembrance, under his own hand, be 
fore Sir THO. EGERTON, lord Keeper of the great 
seal ; lord BUCKHURST, lord High Treasurer ; the 
earl of NOTTINGHAM, lord High Admiral ; Sir RO 
BERT CECIL, principal Secretary. 

SOME points of the articles which my lord of 


Essex sent unto Drury-house, as near as I can re 
member, were these ; whether both the court and 
the Tower should be both attempted at one time ? 
if both, what numbers should be thought requisite 
for either ? if the court alone, what places should be 
first possessed ? by what persons ? 

And for those which were not to come into the 
court beforehand, where and in what sort they might 
assemble themselves, with least suspicion, to come 
in with my lord ? 

Whether it were not fit for my lord, and some of 
the principal persons, to be armed with privy coats ? 


Knowledged in the presence of Tuo. EGERTON, C. S. 


The first confession of Sir CHRISTOPHER BLUNT, exa 
mined the 18th of February 1600, befor Jo. HER 
BERT, second Secretary of estate, and in the 
presence of NIC. KEMPE, counsellor at law, WIL 
ANDREWS, citizens, JOHN TREVOR, surveyor of 
the navy, and THOMAS THORNEY, his surgeon. 

HE confesseth that the earl of Essex sent Wise 
man, about the 20th of January, to visit his wife, 
with letters of compliment, and to require him to 
come up unto him to London, to settle his estate 


according as he had written unto him before some 
few days. 

Being demanded, to what end they went to the 
city, to join with such strength as they hoped for 
there ? he confesseth it was to secure the earl of 
Essex his life, against such forces as should be sent 
against him. And being asked, What, against the 
queen s forces ? he answered, That must have been 
judged afterwards. 

But being farther asked, Whether he did advise 
to come unto the court over night ? He saith, No ; 
for Sir Ferdinando Gorge did assure, that the 
alarm was taken of it at the court, and the guards 

Being asked, whether he thought any prince 
could have endured to have any subject make the 
city his mediator ? or to gather force to speak for 
him ? He saith, he is not read in stories of former 
times ; but he doth not know but that in former 
times subjects have used force for their media 

Being asked, what should have been done by any 
of the persons that should have been removed from 
the queen ? He answered, that he never found my 
lord disposed to shed blood ; but that any that 
should have been found, should have had indifferent 

Being asked upon his conscience, whether the 
earl of Essex did not give him comfort, that if he 
came to authority, there should be a toleration for 


religion ? He confesseth, he should have been to 
blame to have denied it. 


This was read unto Sir Christopher Blunt, and 
afterwards signed by him in the presence of us who 
are under written : 




The second confession of Sir CHRISTOPHER BLUNT 
the same day, viz. the 18th of February ; taken 
before Mr. JOHN HERBERT, second Secretary of 
estate, and subscribed by him in the presence of 
NICHOLAS KEMPE, counsellor at law, THOMAS 
THORNEY, his surgeon, and WILLIAM MARTIN, 

SIR CHRISTOPHER BLUNT, after the signing of 
this confession, being told, that he did not deal 
plainly, excused himself by his former weakness, 
putting us in mind that he said once before, that 
when he was able to speak, he would tell all truth, 
doth now confess ; That four or five days before the 
earl of Essex did rise, he did set down certain arti 
cles to be considered on, which he saw not, until 
afterward he was made acquainted with them, when 


they had amongst themselves disputed : which were 

One of them was, whether the Tower of London 
should be taken ? 

Another, whether they should not possess the 
court, and so secure my lord, and other men, to come 
to the queen ? 

For the first concerning the Tower, he did not 
like it ; concluding, that he that had the power of 
the queen, should have that. 

He confesseth that upon Saturday night, when 
Mr. Secretary Herbert had been with the earl, and 
that he saw some suspicion was taken, he thought it 
in vain to attempt the court, and persuaded him 
rather to save himself by flight, than to engage him 
self farther, and all his company. And so the reso 
lution of the earl grew to go into the city, in hope, 
as he said before, to find many friends there. 

He doth also say, that the earl did usually speak 
of his purpose to alter the government. 


Exam, per Jo. HERBERT. 

Subscribed in the presence of 




The declaration of the lord Keeper, the earl of 
WORCESTER, and the lord Chief Justice of Eng 

UPON Sunday, being the 8th of February last 
past, about ten of the clock in the forenoon, the lord 
Keeper of the great seal, the earl of Worcester, Sir 
William Knolles, comptroller of her majesty s house 
hold, and the lord Chief Justice of England, being 
commanded by direction from the queen s majesty, 
did repair to the late earl of Essex his house, and 
finding the gate shut against them, after a little 
stay they were let in at the wicket : and as soon as 
they were within the gate, the wicket was shut upon 
them, and all their servants kept out. 

At their coming thither they found the court full 
of men assembled together in very tumultuous sort ; 
the earls of Essex, Rutland, and Southampton, and 
the lord Sandys, Mr. Parker, commonly called lord 
Montegle, Sir Christopher Blunt, Sir Charles Davers, 
and many other knights and gentlemen, and other 
persons unknown, which flocked together about the 
lord Keeper, &c. And thereupon the lord Keeper 
told the earl of Essex, that they were sent from her 
majesty to understand the cause of this their assem 
bly, and to let them know, that if they had any par 
ticular cause of grief against any persons whatsoever, 
it should be heard, and they should have justice. 

Hereupon the earl of Essex with a very loud voice 
declared, That his life was sought, and that he should 
have been murdered in his bed ; that he had been 


perfidiously dealt with ; that his hand had been coun 
terfeited, and letters written in his name; and that 
therefore they were assembled there together to de 
fend their lives ; with much other speech to like effect. 
Hereupon the lord Chief Justice said unto the earl, 
That if they had any such matter of grief, or if any 
such matter were attempted or purposed against him, 
he willed the earl to declare it, assuring him that it 
should be truly related to her majesty, and that it 
should be indifferently heard, and justice should be 
done whomsoever it concerned. 

To this the earl of Southampton objected the as 
sault mad^ upon him by the lord Gray. Whereunto 
the lord Chief Justice said, That in his case justice 
had been done, and the party imprisoned for it. And 
hereupon the lord Keeper did eftsoons will the earl of 
Essex, that whatsoever private matter or offence he 
had against any person whatsoever, if he would deliver 
it unto them, they would faithfully and honestly de 
liver it to the queen s majesty, and doubted not to 
procure him honourable and equal justice, whomsoever 
it concerned ; requiring him, that if he would not de 
clare it openly, that he would impart it unto them 
privately, and doubted not but they would satisfy him 
in it. 

Upon this there was a great clamour raised 
amongst the multitude, crying, " Away, my lord, 
they abuse you, they betray you, they undo you, 
you lose time." Whereupon the lord Keeper put 
on his hat, and said with a loud voice, " My lord, let 
us speak with you privately, and understand your 


griefs ; and I command you all upon your alle 
giance, to lay down your weapons, and to depart, 
which you ought all to do, being thus commanded, 
if you be good subjects, and owe that duty to the 
queen s majesty which you profess." Whereupon 
they all brake out into an exceeding loud shout and 
cry, crying, "All! all! all!" 

And whilst the lord Keeper was speaking, and 
commanding them upon their allegiance, as is before 
declared, the earl of Essex and the most part of that 
company did put on their hats, and so the earl of 
Essex went into the house, and the lord Keeper, &c. 
followed him, thinking that his purpose had been to 
speak with them privately,as they had required. And 
as they were going, some of that disordered company 
cried, " Kill them." And as they were going into 
the great chamber, some cried, " Cast the great seal 
out at the window." Some other cried there, " Kill 
them ;" and some other said, " Nay, let us shop 
them up." 

The lord Keeper did often call to the earl of 
Essex to speak with them privately, thinking still 
that his meaning had been so, until the earl brought 
them into his back chamber, and there gave order 
to have the farther door of that chamber shut fast. 
And at his going forth out of that chamber, the 
lord Keeper pressing again to have spoken with the 
earl of Essex, the earl said, " My lords, be patient 
awhile, and stay here, and I will go into London, 
and take order with the mayor and sheriffs for the 
city, and will be here again within this half hour ;" 


and so departed from the lord Keeper, &c. leaving 
the lord Keeper, &c. and divers of the gentlemen 
pensioners in that chamber, guarded by Sir John 
Davis, Francis Tresham, and Owen Salisbury, with 
musquet shot, where they continued until Sir Fer- 
dinando Gorge came and delivered them about four 
of the clock in the afternoon. 

In the mean time, we did often require Sir John 
Davis, and Francis Tresham, to suffer us to depart, 
or at the least to suffer some one of us to go to the 
queen s majesty, to inform her where and in what 
sort we were kept. But they answered, That my 
lord, meaning the earl of Essex, had commanded 
that we should not depart before his return, which, 
they said, would be very shortly, 

The examination of ROGER earl of RUTLAND, the 
12th of February, 1600, taken before Sir THOMAS 
EGERTON, lord Keeper of the great seal ; the lord 
BUCKHURST, lord High Treasurer ; the earl of 
NOTTINGHAM, lord High Admiral ; Sir ROBERT 
CECIL, principal Secretary ; and Sir Jo. POPHAM, 
lord Chief Justice of England. 

HE saith, that at his coming to Essex-house on 
Sunday morning last, he found there with the earl 
of Essex, the lord fc Sandys, and the lord Chandos, 
and divers knights and gentlemen. And the earl of 
Essex told this examinate, that his life was practised 
to be taken away by the lord Cobham, and Sir Wai- 

VOL. vi. c c 


ter Raleigh, when he was sent for to the council ; 
and the earl said, that now he meant by the help of 
his friends to defend himself : and saith, that the de 
taining of the lord Keeper and the other lords sent 
to the earl from the queen, was a stratagem of war ; 
and saith, That the earl of Essex told him that Lon 
don stood for him, and that sheriff Smith had given 
him intelligence, that he would make as many men 
to assist him as he could ; and farther the earl of 
Essex said, that he meant to possess himself of the 
city, the better to enable himself to revenge him on 
his enemies, the lord Cobham, Sir Robert Cecil, and 
Sir Walter Raleigh. And this examinate confesseth, 
That he resolved to live and die with the earl of 
Essex ; and that the earl of Essex did intend to 
make his forces so strong, that her majesty should 
nqt be able to resist him in the revenge of his ene 
mies. And saith, That the earl of Essex was most 
inward with the earl of Southampton, Sir Christo 
pher Blunt, and others; who have of long time 
shewed themselves discontented, and have advised 
the earl of Essex to take other courses, and to stand 
upon his guard : and saith, That when the earl of 
Essex was talking with the lord Keeper, and other 
the lords sent from her majesty, divers said, " My 
lord, they mean to abuse you, and you lose time." 
And when the earl came to sheriff Smith s, he desired 
him to send for the lord Mayor that he might speak with 
him ; and as the earl went in the streets of London, this 
examinate said to divers of the citizens, that if they 
would needs come, that it was better for their safety to 


come with weapons in their hands : and saith, That 
the earl of Essex, at the end of the street where 
sheriff Smith dwelt, cried out to the citizens, that 
they did him harm, for that they came naked ; and 
willed them to get them weapons ; and the earl of 
Essex also cried out to the citizens, that the crown 
of England was offered to be sold to the Infanta : 
and saith, That the earl burned divers papers that 
were in a little casket, whereof one was, as the earl 
said, an history of his troubles : and saith. That 
when they were assaulted in Essex-house, after 
their return, they first resolved to have made a sally 
out ; and the earl said, that he was determined to 
die ; and yet in the end they changed their opinion, 
and yielded : and saith, That the earl of Southamp 
ton, Sir Christopher Blunt, and Sir John Davis, 
advised the earl of Essex, that the lord Keeper and 
his company should be detained : and this examinate 
saith, That he heard divers there present cry out, 
" Kill them, kill them :" and saith, That he thinketh 
the earl of Essex intended, that after he had pos^ 
sessed himself of the city, he would intreat the lord 
Keeper and his company to accompany him to the 
court. He saith, he heard Sir Christopher Blunt 
say openly, in the presence of the earl of Essex and 
others, how fearful, and in what several humours 
they should find them at the court, when they came 

Exam, per TH. EGERTON, C. S. Ro. CECIL, 




The confession of WILLIAM lord SANDYS, of the parish 
of Sherborne-Cowdry in the county of Southamp 
ton, taken this 16th of February, 1600, before 
Sir JOHN POPHAM, lord Chief Justice ; ROGER WIL- 
BRAHAM, master of the Requests ; and EDWARD 
COKE, her majesty s Attorney-general. 

HE saith, That he never understood that the earl 
did mean to stand upon his strength till Sunday in 
the morning, being the 8th of this instant February : 
and saith, That in the morning of that day this exa- 
minate was sent for by the earl of Essex about six or 
seven of the clock : and the earl sent for him by his 
servant Warburton, who was married to a widow in 
Hampshire. And at his coming to the earl, there 
were six or seven gentlemen with him, but remem- 
bereth not what they were ; and next after, of a 
nobleman, came my lord Chandos, and after him 
came the earl of Southampton, and presently after 
the earl of Rutland, and after him Mr. Parker, com 
monly called the lord Montegle : and saith, That at 
his coming to the earl of Essex, he complained that 
it was practised by Sir Walter Raleigh to have mur 
dered him as he should have gone to the lord Trea 
surer s house with Mr. Secretary Herbert. And saith, 
that he was present in the court-yard of Essex-house, 
when the lord Keeper, the earl of Worcester, Sir 
William Knolles, and the lord Chief Justice, came 
from the queen s majesty to the earl of Essex ; and 
the lord Chief Justice required the earl of Essex to 
have some private conference with him; and that if 
any private wrongs were offered unto him, that they 
would make true report thereof to her majesty, who, 


no doubt, would reform the same : and saith, That 
this examinate went with the earl, and the rest of his 
company, to London to sheriff Smith s, but went not 
into the house with him, but stayed in the street a 
while; and being sent for by the earl of Essex, went 
into the house, and from thence came with him till 
he came to Ludgate ; which place being guarded, 
and resistance being made, and perceived by the 
earl of Essex, he said unto his company, " Charge ;" 
and thereupon Sir Christopher Blunt, and others of 
his company gave the charge, and being repulsed, 
and this examinate hurt in the leg, the earl retired 
with this examinate and others to his house called 
Essex-house. And on his retire, the earl said to this 
examinate, That if sheriff Smith did not his part, 
that his part was as far forth as the earl s own ; 
which moved him to think that he trusted to the 
city. And when the earl was, after his retire, in 
Essex-house, he took an iron casket, and broke it 
open, and burnt divers papers in it, whereof there 
was a book, as he taketh it, and said, as he 
was burning of them, that they should tell no tales 
to hurt his friends : and saith, That the earl said, 
that he had a black bag about his neck that should 
tell no tales. WILLIAM SANDYS. 




The examination of the lord CROMWELL, taken the 
7th of March, 1600, by Sir J. POPHAM, lord Chief 
Justice ; CHRIST. YELVERTON, her majesty s ser- 
jeant ; and FR. BACON, of her majesty s learned 

* AT the sheriff s house this examinate pressed 
in with the rest, and found the earls shifting them 
selves in an inner chamber, where he heard my lord 
of Essex certify the company, that he had been 
advertised out of Ireland, which he would not now 
hide from them, that the realm should be delivered 
over to the hands of the Infanta of Spain, and that 
he was wished to look to it ; farther, that he was 
to seek redress for injuries ; and that he had left at 
his house for pledges, the lord Keeper, the earl of 
Worcester, Sir William Knolles, and the lord Chief 



* This examination, as appeareth by the date, was taken 
after Essex s arraignment, but is inserted, to shew how the 
speech, of the realm to be sold to the Infanta, which at his 
arraignment he derived from Mr. Secretary, at sheriff Smith s 
house he said he was advertised out of Ireland : and with this 
latter concur many other examinations. 


Sir CHRISTOPHER BLUNT, knight, at the time of his 
arraignment, did openly at the bar desire to 
speak with the lord Admiral and Mr. Secretary ; 
before whom he made this confession following : 
which the earl of SOUTHAMPTON confirmed after 
wards, and he himself likewise at his death. 

HE confesseth, that at the castle of Dublin, in 
that lodging which was once the earl of Southamp 
ton s, the earl of Essex purposing his return into 
England, advised with the earl of Southampton and 
himself, of his best manner of going into England for 
his security, seeing to go he was resolved. 

At that time he propounded his going with a 
competent number of soldiers, to the number of two 
or three thousand, to have made good his first 
landing with that force, until he could have drawn 
unto himself a sufficient strength to have proceeded 

From this purpose this examinate did use all 
forcible persuasions, alleging not only his own ruin, 
which should follow thereof, and all those which 
should adhere to him in that action ; but urging it 
to him as a matter most foul, because he was not 
only held a patron of his country, which by this 
means he should have destroyed ; but also should 
have laid upon himself an irrevocable blot, having 
been so deeply bound to her majesty. To which 
dissuasion the earl of Southampton also inclined. 

This design being thus dissuaded by them, then 


they fell to a second consideration : and therein this 
exanimate confesseth, That he rather advised him, 
if needs he would go, to take with him some com 
petent number of choice men. 

He did not name unto him any particular power 
that would have come to him at his landing, but 
assured himself that his army would have been quickly 
increased by all sorts of discontented people. 

He did confess before his going, That he was 
assured that many of the rebels would be advised 
by him, but named none in particular. 

The examination of the earl of SOUTHAMPTON after 
his arraignment ; taken before the earl of NOT 
TINGHAM, lord High Admiral ; Sir ROBERT CECIL, 
principal Secretary ; and Mr. JOHN HERBERT, 
second Secretary of estate. 

SIR CHRISTOPHER BLUNT being hurt, and lying in 
the castle of Dublin, in a chamber which had been 
mine, the earl of Essex one day took me thither with 
him, where being none but we three, he told us, He 
found it necessary for him to go into England, and 
thought it fit to carry with him as much of the army 
as he could conveniently transport, to go on shore 
with him to Wales, and there to make good his 
landing with those, till he could send for more ; not 
doubting but his army would so increase in a small 
time, that he should be able to march to London, 
and make his conditions as he desired. 

To which project I answered, That I held it 


altogether unfit, as well in respect of his conscience 
to God, and his love to his country, as his duty to 
his sovereign, of which he, of all men, ought to have 
greatest regard, seeing her majesty s favours to him 
had been so extraordinary : wherefore I could never 
give any consent unto it. Sir Christopher Blunt 
joined with me in this opinion. 


The speech of Sir CHRISTOPHER BLUNT, at the time 
of his death, as near as it could be remembered, 
March 18, 1600. 

My lords, and you that be present, although I 
must confess, that it were better fitting the little 
time I have to breathe, to bestow the same in asking 
God forgiveness for my manifold and abominable 
sins, than to use any other discourse, especially hav 
ing both an imperfection of speech, and God knows 
a weak memory, by reason of my late grievous 
wound : yet to satisfy all those that are present, 
what course hath been held by me in this late enter 
prise, because I was said to be an instigator and 
setter on of the late earl, I will truly, and upon the 
peril of my soul, speak the truth. 

It is true, that the first time that ever I understood 
of any dangerous discontentment in my lord of 
Essex, was about three years ago, at Wanstead, 
upon his coming one day from Greenwich. At that 


time he spake many things unto me, but descended 
into no particulars, but in general terms. 

After which time he never brake with me in any 
matter tending to the alteration of the state, I protest 
before God, until he came into Ireland, other than I 
might conceive, that he was of an ambitious and dis 
contented mind. But when I lay at the castle of 
Thomas Lee, called Reban, in Ireland, grievously hurt, 
and doubted of my life, he came to visit me, and then 
began to acquaint me with his intent. 

[As he thus spake, the sheriff began to interrupt 
him, and told him the hour was past. But my lord 
Gray, and Sir Walter Raleigh captain of the guard, 
called to the sheriff, and required him not to interrupt 
him, but to suffer him quietly to finish his prayers 
and confessions. Sir Christopher Blunt said, Is Sir 
Walter Raleigh there ? Those on the scaffold answer 
ed, Yea. To whom Sir Christopher Blunt spake on 
this manner :] 

Sir Walter Raleigh, I thank God that you are 
present : I had an infinite desire to speak with you, 
to ask you forgiveness ere I died, both for the wrong 
done you, and for my particular ill intent towards you : 
I beseech you forgive me. 

Sir Walter Raleigh answered, That he most wil 
lingly forgave him, and besought God to forgive him, 
and to give him his divine comfort : protesting before 
the Lord, That whatsoever Sir Christopher Blunt 
meant towards him, for his part he never had any ill 
intent towards him : and farther said to Sir Christo- 


pher Blunt,." I pray you without offence let me put 
you in mind that you have been esteemed, not only 
a principal provoker and persuader of the earl of 
Essex in all his undutiful courses, but especially an 
adviser in that which had been confessed of his 
purpose to transport a great part of her majesty s 
army out of Ireland into England, to land at Mil- 
ford, and thence to turn it against her sacred per 
son. You shall do well to tell the truth, and to 
satisfy the world." To which he answered thus : 

Sir, if you will give me patience, I will deliver a 
truth, speaking now my last, in the presence of God, 
in whose mercy I trust. [And then he directed him 
self to my lord Gray and my lord Compton, and the 
rest that sat on horseback near the scaffold.] 

When I was brought from Reban to Dublin, and 
lodged in the castle, his lordship and the earl of 
Southampton came to visit me ; and to be short, he 
began thus plainly with me : That he intended to 
transport a choice part of the army of Ireland into 
England, and land them in Wales, at Milford or 
thereabouts ; and so securing his descent thereby^ 
would gather such other forces as might enable him 
to march to London. To which, I protest before the 
Lord God, I made this or the like answer : That I 
would that night consider of it ; which I did. 

And the next day the earls came again : I told 
them, That such an enterprise, as it was most danger 
ous, so would it cost much blood, as I could not like of 
it ; besides many hazards, which at this time I cannot 
remember unto you, neither will the time permit it. 


But I rather advised him to go over himself with a 
good train, and make sure of the court, and then make 
his own conditions. 

And although it be true, that, as we all protested 
in our examinations and arraignments, we never 
resolved of doing hurt to her majesty s person, for 
in none of our consultations was there set down any 
such purpose ; yet, I know, and must confess, if we 
had failed of our ends, we should, rather than have 
been disappointed, even have drawn blood from her 
self. From henceforward he dealt no more with me 
herein, until he was discharged of his keeper at 
Essex-house. And then, he again asked mine advice, 
and disputed the matter with me ; but resolved not. 
I went then into the country, and before he sent for 
me, which was some ten days before his rebellion, I 
never heard more of the matter. And then he wrote 
unto me to come up, upon pretence of making some 
assurances of land, and the like. I will leave the rest 
unto my confessions, given to that honourable lord 
Admiral, and worthy Mr. Secretary, to whom I 
beseech you, Sir Walter Raleigh , commend me ; I 
can requite their favourable and charitable dealing 
with me, with nought else but my prayers for them. 
And I beseech God of his mercy, to save and preserve 
the queen, who hath given comfort to my soul, in that 
I hear she hath forgiven me all, but the sentence of 
the law, which I most worthily deserved, and do most 
willingly embrace ; and hope that God will have 
mercy and compassion on me, who have offended him 
as many ways as ever sinful wretch did. I have led 


a life so far from his precepts, as no sinner more. God 
forgive it me, and forgive me my wicked thoughts, 
my licentious life, and this right arm of mine, which, 
I fear me, hath drawn blood in this last action. And 
I beseech you all bear witness, that I die a Catholic, 
yet so, as I hope to be saved only by the death and 
passion of Christ, arid by his merits, not ascribing any 
thing to mine own works. And I trust you are all 
good people, and your prayers may profit me. Fare 
well, my worthy lord Gray, and my lord Compton, 
and to you all ; God send you both to live long in 
honour. I will desire to say a few prayers, and 
embrace my death most willingly. 

With that he turned from the rail towards the 
executioner ; and the minister offering to speak with 
him, he came again to the rail, and besought that 
his conscience might not be troubled, for he was re- 
solved ; which he desired for God s sake. Whereupon 
commandment was given, that the minister should 
not interrupt him any farther. After which he pre 
pared himself to the block, and so died very manfully 
and resolutely. 

An abstract out of the earl of Essex s confession 
under his own hand. 

UPON Saturday the twenty-first of February, after 
the late earl of Essex had desired us to come to him, 
as well to deliver his knowledge of those treasons, 
which he had formerly denied at the bar, as also to 
recommend his humble and earnest request, that her 


majesty would be pleased, out of her grace and 
favour, to suffer him to die privately in the Tower ; 
he did marvellous earnestly desire, that we would 
suffer him to speak unto Cuffe his secretary : against 
whom he vehemently complained unto us, to have 
been a principal instigator to these violent courses 
which he had undertaken. Wherein he protested, 
that he chiefly desired that he might make it appear 
that he was not the only persuader of those great 
offences which they had committed ; but that Blunt, 
Cuffe, Temple, besides those other persons who were 
at the private conspiracy at Drury-house, to which, 
though these three were not called, yet they were 
privy, had most malicious and bloody purposes to 
subvert the state and government : which could not 
have been prevented, if his project had gone forward. 
This request being granted him, and Cuffe 
brought before him, he there directly and vehemently 
charged him ; and among other speeches used these 
words : " Henry Cuffe, call to God for mercy, and 
to the queen, and deserve it by declaring truth. 
For I, that must now prepare for another world, 
have resolved to deal clearly with God and the 
world : and must needs say this to you ; You have 
been one of the chiefest instigators of me to all 
these my disloyal courses into which I have fallen." 

Testified by THO. EGERTON, C. S. 


The earl of Essex his confession to three ministers, 
whose names are underwritten, the 25th of Feb 
ruary, 1600. 

THE late earl of Essex thanked God most heartily, 
That he had given him a deeper insight into his of 
fence, being sorry he had so stood upon his justifica 
tion at his arraignment, for he was since that become 
another man. 

He thanked God that his course was so prevented ; 
for if his project had taken effect, God knows, said 
he, what harm it had wrought in the realm. 

He humbly thanked her majesty, that he should 
die in so private a manner, lest the acclamation of 
the people might have been a temptation unto him. 
To which he added, that all popularity and trust in 
man was vain : the experience whereof himself had 

He acknowledged with thankfulness to God, that 
he was thus justly spewed out of the realm. 

He publicly in his prayer and protestation, as also 
privately, aggravated the detestation of his offence ; 
and especially in the hearing of them that were pre 
sent at the execution, he exaggerated it with four 
epithets, desiring God to forgive him his great, his 
bloody, his crying, and his infectious sin : which word 
" infectious" he privately had explained to us, that it 
was a leprosy that had infected far and near. 
ABDY ASHTON, his chaplain. 









WHAT you requested of me by word, when I last 
waited on you, you have since renewed by your let 
ters. Your requests are commands unto me ; and 
yet the matter is of that nature, that I find myself 
very unable to serve you therein as you desire. It 
hath pleased the king to cast an extraordinary eye of 
favour upon you, and you express yourself very de 
sirous to win upon the judgment of your master, and 
not upon his affections only. I do very much com 
mend your noble ambition herein ; for favour so bot 
tomed is like to be lasting ; whereas, if it be built but 
upon the sandy foundation of personal respects only, 
it cannot be long-lived. 

[*My lord, when the blessing of God, to whom in 
the first place I know you ascribe your preferment, 

[*What is found in crotchets is borrowed from the original 
edition published in 4to, 1661.] 


and the king s favour, purchased by your noble parts, 
promising as much as can be expected from a gentle 
man, had brought you to this high pitch of honour, 
to be in the eye, and ear, and even in the bosom of 
your gracious master ; and you had found by expe 
rience the trouble of all mens confluence, and for all 
matters, to yourself, as a mediator between them and 
their sovereign, you were pleased to lay this com 
mand upon me : first in general, to give you my poor 
advice for your carriage in so eminent a place, and 
of so much danger if not wisely discharged : next in 
particular by what means to give dispatches to sui 
tors of all sorts, for the king s best service, the suitors 
satisfaction, and your own ease. I humbly return 
you mine opinion in both these, such as an hermit 
rather than a courtier can render.] 

Yet in this you have erred, in applying yourself 
to me the most unworthy of your servants, to give 
assistance upon so weighty a subject. 

You know, I am no courtier, nor versed in state 
affairs ; my life, hitherto, hath rather been contem 
plative than active ; I have rather studied books than 
men ; I can but guess, at the most, at these things, 
in which you desire to be advised : nevertheless, to 
shew my obedience, though with the hazard of my 
discretion, I shall yield unto you. 

Sir, in the first place, I shall be bold to put you 
in mind of the present condition you are in ; you are 
not only a courtier, but a bed-chamber man, and so 
are in the eye and ear of your master ; but you are 

VOL. vi, D D 


also a favourite ; the favourite of the time, and so are 
in his bosom also ; the world hath so voted you, and 
doth so esteem of you ; for kings and great princes, 
even the wisest of them, have had their friends, their 
favourites, their privadoes, in all ages ; for they have 
their affections as well as other men. Of these they 
make several uses ; sometimes to communicate and 
debate their thoughts with them, and to ripen their 
judgments thereby ; sometimes to ease their cares by 
imparting them ; and sometimes to interpose them 
between themselves and the envy or malice of their 
people ; for kings cannot err, that must be discharged 
upon the shoulders of their ministers ; and they 
who are nearest unto them must be content to bear 
the greatest load. [Remember then what your true 
condition is : the king himself is above the reach of 
his people, but cannot be above their censures ; and 
you are his shadow, if either he commit an error, and 
is loth to avow it, but excuses it upon his ministers, 
of which you are first in the eye ; or you commit the 
fault or have willingly permitted it, and must suffer 
for it : and so perhaps you may be offered a sacrifice 
to appease the multitude.] But truly, Sir, I do not 
believe or suspect that you are chosen to this emi- 
nency, out of the last of these considerations : for you 
serve such a master, who by his wisdom and good 
ness is as free from the malice or envy of his subjects, 
as I think, I may truly say, ever any king was, who 
hath sat upon his throne before him : but I am confi 
dent, his majesty hath cast his eyes upon you, as 
finding you to be such as you should be, or hoping to 


make you to be such as he would have you to be ; for 
this I may say, without flattery, your outside pro- 
miseth as much as can be expected from a gentleman : 
but be it in the one respect, or other, it belongeth to 
you to take care of yourself, and to know well what 
the name of a favourite signifies. If you be chosen 
upon the former respects, you have reason to take 
care of your actions and deportment, out of your gra 
titude, for the king s sake ; but if out of the latter, 
you ought to take the greater care for your own 

You are as a new-risen star, and the eyes of all 
men are upon you ; let not your own negligence 
make you fall like a meteor. 

[Remember well the great trust you have un 
dertaken ; you are as a continual centinel, always to 
stand upon your watch to give him true intelligence. 
If you flatter him, you betray him; if you conceal 
the truth of those things from him which concern 
his justice or his honour, although not the safety of 
his person, you are as dangerous a traitor to his 
state, as he that riseth in arms against him. A false 
friend is more dangerous than an open enemy : kings 
are styled gods upon earth, not absolute, but " Dixi, 
Dii estis ;" and the next words are, " sed moriemini 
sicut homines ;" they shall die like men, and then all 
their thoughts perish. They cannot possibly see all 
things with their own eyes, nor hear all things with 
their own ears ; they must commit many great 
trusts to their ministers. Kings must be answer 
able to God Almighty, to whom they are but vas- 


sals, for their actions, and for their negligent omis 
sions : but the ministers to kings, whose eyes, ears, 
and hands they are, must be answerable to God and 
man for the breach of their duties, in violation of 
their trusts, whereby they betray them. Opinion is 
a master wheel in these cases : that courtier who 
obtained a boon of the emperor, that he might every 
morning at his coming into his presence humbly 
whisper him in the ear and say nothing, asked no 
unprofitable suit for himself: but such a fancy 
raised only by opinion cannot be long-lived , unless 
the man have solid worth to uphold it ; otherwise 
when once discovered it vanisheth suddenly. But 
when a favourite in court shall be raised upon the 
foundation of merits, and together with the care of 
doing good service to the king, shall give good dis 
patches to the suitors, then can he not choose but 

The contemplation then of your present condi 
tion must necessarily prepare you for action : what 
time can be well spared from your attendance on 
your master, will be taken up by suitors, whom you 
cannot avoid nor decline without reproach. For if 
you do not already, you will soon find the throng of 
suitors attend you ; for no man, almost, who hath to 
do with the king, will think himself safe, unless you 
be his good angel, and guide him ; or at least that 
you be not a " malus genius" against him : so that, 
in respect of the king your master, you must be 
very wary that you give him true information ; and 
if the matter concern him in his government, that 


you do not flatter him : if you do, you are as great 
a traitor to him in the court of heaven, as he that 
draws his sword against him : and in respect of the 
suitors which shall attend you, there is nothing will 
bring you more hononr and more ease, than to do 
them what right in justice you may, and with as 
much speed as you may : for believe it, Sir, next to 
the obtaining of the suit, a speedy and gentle de 
nial, when the case will not bear it, is the most 
acceptable to suitors : they will gain by their dis 
patch ; whereas else they shall spend their time and 
money in attending, and you will gain, in the ease 
you will find in being rid of their importunity. But 
if they obtain what they reasonably desired, they will 
be doubly bound to you for your favour ; " Bis dat 
qui cito dat," it multiplies the courtesy, to do it with 
good words and speedily. 

That you may be able to do this with the best 
advantage, my humble advice is this ; when suitors 
come unto you, set apart a certain hour in a 
day to give them audience : if the business be light 
and easy, it may by word only be delivered, and in 
a word be answered ; but if it be either of weight 
or of difficulty, direct the suitor to commit it to 
writing, if it be not so already, and then direct him 
to attend for his answer at a set time to be ap 
pointed, which would constantly be observed, unless 
some matter of great moment do interrupt it. When 
you have received the petitions, and it will please 
the petitioners well, to have access unto you to de 
liver them into your own hand, let your secretary 


first read them, and draw lines under the material 
parts thereof; for the matter, for the most part, 
lies in a narrow room. The petitions being thus 
prepared, do you constantly set apart an hour in a 
day to peruse those petitions ; and after you have 
ranked them into several files, according to the sub 
ject matter, make choice of two or three friends, 
whose judgments and fidelities you believe you may 
trust in a business of that nature; and recommend 
it to one or more of them, to inform you of their 
opinions, and of their reasons for or against the 
granting of it. And if the matter be of great 
weight indeed, then it would not be amiss to send 
several copies of the same petition to several of 
your friends, the one not knowing what the other 
doth, and desire them to return their answers to 
you by a certain time, to be prefixed, in writing ; so 
shall you receive an impartial answer, and by com 
paring the one with the other, as out of " responsa 
prudentium," you shall both discern the abilities 
and faithfulness of your friends, and be able to give 
a judgment thereupon as an oracle. But by no 
means trust to your own judgment alone; for no 
man is omniscient : nor trust only to your servants, 
who may mislead you or misinform you ; by which 
they may perhaps gain a few crowns, but the re 
proach will lie upon yourself, if it be not rightly 

For the facilitating of your dispatches, my advice 
is farther, that you divide all the petitions, and the 
matters therein contained, under several heads : 


which, I conceive, may be fitly ranked into these 
eight sorts. 

I. Matters that concern religion, and the Church 
and churchmen. 

II. Matters concerning justice, and the laws, and 
the professors thereof. 

III. Councillors, and the council table, and the 
great offices and officers of the kingdom, 

IV. Foreign negociations and embassies. 

V. Peace and war, both foreign and civil, and 
in that the navy and forts, and what belongs to 

VI. Trade at home and abroad. 

VII. Colonies, or foreign plantations. 

VIII. The court and curiality. 

And whatsoever will not fall naturally under one 
of these heads, believe me, Sir, will not be worthy of 
your thoughts, in this capacity, we now speak of. 
And of these sorts, I warrant you, you will find 
enough to keep you in business. 

I BEGIN with the first, which concerns religion. 

1. In the first place, be you yourself rightly per 
suaded and settled in the true protestant religion, 
professed by the Church of England ; which doubt 
less is as sound and orthodox in the doctrine there 
of, as any Christian Church in the world. 

[For religion, if any thing be offered to you 
touching it, or touching the Church, or Churchmen, 
or Church-government, rely not only upon yourself, 
but take the opinion of some grave and eminent di- 


vines, especially such as are sad and discreet men, 
and exemplary for their lives.] 

2. In this you need not be a monitor to your 
gracious master the king : the chiefest of his imperial 
titles is, to be The Defender of the Faith, and his 
learning is eminent, not only above other princes, but 
above other men ; be but his scholar, and you are 
safe in that. 

[If any question be moved concerning the doc 
trine of the Church of England expressed in the 
thirty-nine articles, give not the least ear to the 
movers thereof: that is so soundly and so orthodoxly 
settled, as cannot be questioned without extreme 
danger to the honour and stability of our religion ; 
which hath been sealed with the blood of so many 
martyrs and confessors, as are famous through the 
Christian world. The enemies and underminers 
thereof are the Romish Catholic, so stiling themselves, 
on the one hand, whose tenets are inconsistent with 
the truth of religion professed and protested by the 
Church of England, whence we are called protestants; 
and the anabaptists, and separatists, and sectaries on 
the other hand, whose tenets are full of schism, and 
inconsistent with monarchy : for the regulating of 
either, there needs no other coercion than the due 
execution of the laws already established by par 

3. For the discipline of the Church of England 
by bishops, &c. I will not positively say, as some 
do, that it is " jure divino" ; but this I say and think 
<e ex animo," that it is the nearest to apostolical truth 


and confidently I shall say, it is fittest for monarchy 
of all others. I will use no other authority to you, 
than that excellent proclamation set out by the king 
himself in the first year of his reign, and annexed 
before the book of Common-prayer, which I desire 
you to read ; and if at any time there shall be the 
least motion made for innovation, to put the king in 
mind to read it himself : it is most dangerous in a 
state, to give ear to the least alterations in government. 
[If any attempt be made to alter the discipline 
of our Church, although it be not an essential part of 
our religion, yet it is so necessary not to be rashly 
altered, as the very substance of religion will be 
interested in it : therefore I desire you before any 
attempt be made of an innovation by your means, or 
by any intercession to your master, that you will first 
read over, and his majesty call to mind that wise and 
weighty proclamation, which himself penned, and 
caused to be published in the first year of his reign, 
and is prefixed in print before the book of Common- 
prayer, of that impression, in which you will find so 
prudent, so weighty reasons, not to hearken to inno 
vations, as will fully satisfy you, that it is dangerous 
to give the least ear to such innovators ; but it is 
desperate to be misled by them : and to settle your 
judgment, mark but the admonition of the wisest of 
men, king Solomon, Prov. xxiv. 21. " My son, fear 
God and the king, and meddle not with those who 
are given to change."] 

4. Take heed, I beseech you, that you be not an 
instrument to countenance the Romish catholics. I 


cannot flatter, the world believes that some near in 
blood to you are too much of that persuasion ; you 
must use them with fit respects, according to the 
bonds of nature ; but you are of kin, and so a friend 
to their persons, not to their errors. 

5. The archbishops and bishops, next under the 
king, have the government of the Church and eccle 
siastical affairs : be not you the mean to prefer any 
to those places for any by-respects ; but only for their 
learning, gravity, and worth : their lives and doctrine 
ought to be exemplary. 

6. For deans, and canons or prebends of cathedral 
churches ; in their first institution they were of great 
use in the Church ; they were not only to be of 
counsel with the bishop for his revenue, but chiefly 
for his government in causes ecclesiastical : use your 
best means to prefer such to those places who are fit 
for that purpose, men eminent for their learning, 
piety, and discretion, and put the king often in mind 
thereof; and let them be reduced again to their first 

7. You will be often solicited, and perhaps im 
portuned to prefer scholars to church living : you 
may further your friends in that way, " cateris 
paribus." ; otherwise remember, I pray, that these are 
not places merely of favour ; the charge of souls lies 
upon them ; the greatest account whereof will be 
required at their own hands ; but they will share 
deeply in their faults who are the instruments of their 


8. Besides the Romish catholics, there is a genera 
tion of sectaries, the anabaptists, browriists, and others 
of their kinds ; they have been several times very 
busy in this kingdom, under the colour of zeal for 
reformation of religion : the king your master knows 
their disposition very well ; a small touch will put 
him in mind of them ; he had experience of them in 
Scotland, I hope he will beware of them in England ; 
a little countenance or connivency sets them on fire. 

9. Order and decent ceremonies in the Church 
are not only comely, but commendable ; but there 
must be great care not to introduce innovations, they 
will quickly prove scandalous ; men are naturally 
over-prone to suspicion ; the true protestant religion 
is seated in the golden mean ; the enemies unto her 
are the extremes on either hand. 

10. The persons of church-men are to be had in 
due respect for their work s sake, and protected from 
scorn ; but if a clergyman be loose and scandalous, 
he must not be patronized nor winked at ; the exam 
ple of a few such corrupt many. 

11. Great care must be taken, that the patrimony 
of the Church be not sacrilegiously diverted to lay 
uses : his majesty in his time hath religiously stop 
ped a leak that did much harm, and would else have 
done more. Be sure, as much as in you lies, stop the 
like upon all occasions. 

12. Colleges and schools of learning are to be 
cherished and encouraged, there to breed up a new 
stock to furnish the Church and commonwealth when 
the old store are transplanted. This kingdom hath 


in later ages been famous for good literature ; and 
if preferment shall attend the deservers, there will 
not want supplies. 

II. NEXT to religion, let your care be to promote 
justice. By justice and mercy is the king s throne 

1. Let the rule of justice be the laws of the land, 
an impartial arbiter between the king and his people, 
and between one subject and another : I shall not 
speak superlatively of them, lest I be suspected of 
partiality, in regard of my own profession ; but this 
I may truly say, They are second to none in the 
Christian world. 

[They are the best, the equallest in the world 
between prince and people ; by which the king hath 
the justest prerogative, and the people the best liber 
ty : and if at any time there be an unjust deviation, 
" Hominis est vitium, nbn professionis."] 

2. And as far as it may lie in you, let no arbitrary 
power be intruded : the people of this kingdom love 
the laws thereof, and nothing will oblige them more, 
than a confidence of the free enjoying of them ; 
what the nobles upon an occasion once said in par 
liament, " Nolumus leges Angliae mutare," is im 
printed in the hearts of all the people. 

3. But because the life of the laws lies in the due 
execution and administration of them, let your eye 
be, in the first place, upon the choice of good judges : 
these properties had they need to be furnished with ; 
to be learned in their profession, patient in hearing, 


prudent in governing, powerful in their elocution to 
persuade and satisfy both the parties and hearers ; 
just in their judgment; and, to sum up all, they 
must have these three attributes ; they must be men 
of courage, fearing God, and hating covetousness ; 
an ignorant man cannot, a coward dares not be a 
good judge. 

4. By no means be you persuaded to interpose 
yourself, either by word or letter, in any cause de 
pending, or like to be depending in any court of jus 
tice, nor suffer any other great man to do it where 
you can hinder it, and by all means dissuade the 
king himself from it, upon the importunity of any for 
themselves or their friends : if it should prevail, it 
perverts justice; but if the judge be so just, and of 
such courage, as he ought to be, as not to be inclined 
thereby, yet it always leaves a taint of suspicion be 
hind it ; judges must be as chaste as Caesar s wife, 
neither to be, nor to be suspected to be unjust ; and, 
Sir, the honour of the judges in their judicature is 
the king s honour, whose person they represent. 

5. There is great use of the service of the judges 
in their circuits, which are twice in the year held 
throughout the kingdom : the trial of causes between 
party and party, or delivering of the gaols in the 
several counties, are of great use for the expe 
dition of justice; yet they are of much more use 
for the government of the counties through which 
they pass, if that were well thought upon. 

6. For if they had instructions to that purpose, 
they might be the best intelligencers to the king of 


the true state of his whole kingdom, of the disposi 
tion of the people, of their inclinations, of their inten 
tions and motions, which are necessary to be truly 

7. To this end I could wish, that against every 
circuit all the judges should, sometimes by the king 
himself, and sometimes by the lord Chancellor or 
lord Keeper, in the king s name, receive a charge of 
those things which the present times did much re 
quire ; and at their return should deliver a faithful 
account thereof, and how they found and left the 
counties through which they passed, and in which 
they kept their assizes. 

8. And that they might the better perform this 
work, which might be of great importance, it will 
not be amiss that sometimes this charge be public, as 
it useth to be in the Star-chamber, at the end of the 
terms next before the circuit begins, where the king s 
care of justice, and the good of his people, may be 
published ; and that sometimes also it may be pri 
vate, to communicate to the judges some things not 
so fit to be publicly delivered. 

9. I could wish also, that the judges were di 
rected to make a little longer stay in a place than 
usually they do ; a day more in a county would be 
a very good addition ; although their wages for their 
circuits were increased in proportion : it would stand 
better with the gravity of their employment ; whereas 
now they are sometimes enforced to rise over-early, 
and to sit over-late, for the dispatch of their busi 
ness, to the extraordinary trouble of themselves and 


of the people, their times indeed not being " horse 
juridical ;" and, which is the main, they would have 
fhe more leisure to inform themselves, ", quasi aliud 
agentes," of the true estate of the country. 

10. The attendance of the sheriffs of the coun 
ties, accompanied with the principal gentlemen, in a 
comely, not a costly equipage, upon the judges of 
assize at their coming to the place of their sitting, 
and at their going out, is not only a civility, but 
of use also : it raiseth a reverence to the persons and 
places of the judges, who coming from the king him 
self on so great an errand, should not be neg 

11. If any sue to be made a judge, for my own 
part, I should suspect him : but if either directly or 
indirectly he should bargain for a place of judica 
ture, let him be rejected with shame ; " Vendere 
jure potest, emerat ille prius." 

12. When the place of a chief judge of a court 
becomes vacant, a puisne judge of that court, or of 
another court, who hath approved himself fit and 
deserving, should be sometimes preferred ; it would 
be a good encouragement for him, and for others by 
his example. 

13. Next to the judge, there would be care used 
in the choice of such as are called to the degree of 
Serjeants at law, for such they must be first before 
they be made judges; none should be made Serjeants 
but such as probably might be held fit to be judges 
afterwards, when the experience at the bar hath 
fitted them for the bench : therefore by all means 


cry down that unworthy course of late times used, 
that they should pay monies for it ; it may satisfy 
some courtiers, but it is no honour to the person so 
preferred, nor to the king, who thus prefers them. 

14. For the king s counsel at the law, especially 
his attorney and solicitor general, I need say nothing: 
their continual use for the king s service, not only 
for his revenue, but for all the parts of his govern 
ment, will put the king, and those who love his ser 
vice, in mind to make choice of men every way fit 
and able for that employment ; they had need to be 
learned in their profession, and not ignorant in 
other things; and to be dexterous in those affairs 
whereof the dispatch is committed to them. 

15. The king s attorney of the court of wards is 
in the true quality of the judges ; therefore what 
hath been observed already of judges, which are in 
tended principally of the three great courts of law at 
Westminster, may be applied to the choice of the at 
torney of this court. 

16. The like for the attorney of the duchy of 
Lancaster, who partakes of both qualities, partly of 
a judge in that court, and partly of an attorney- 
general for so much as concerns the proper revenue 
of the duchy. 

17. I must not forget the judges of the four cir 
cuits in the twelve shires of Wales, who although 
they are not of the first magnitude, nor need be of 
the degree of the coif, only the chief justice of Ches 
ter, who is one of their number, is so, yet are they 
considerable in the choice of them, by the same rules 


as the other judges are ; and they sometimes are, and 
fitly may be, transplanted into the higher courts. 

1 8. There are many courts, as you see, some su 
perior, some provincial, and some of a lower orb : it 
were to be wished, and is fit to be so ordered, that 
every of them keep themselves within their proper 
spheres. The harmony of justice is then the sweetest, 
when there is no jarring about the jurisdiction of the 
courts ; which methinks wisdom cannot much differ 
upon, their true bounds being for the most part so 
clearly known. 

19. Having said thus much of the judges, some 
what will be fit to put you in mind concerning the 
principal ministers of justice : and in the first, of the 
high sheriffs of the counties, which have been very 
ancient in this kingdom ; I am sure before the con 
quest ; the choice of them 1 commend to your care, 
and that at fit times you put the king in mind there 
of ; that as near as may be they be such as are fit for 
those places : for they are of great trust and power ; 
the " posse comitatus," the power of the whole county 
being legally committed unto him. 

20. Therefore it is agreeable with the intention 
of the law, that the choice of them should be by the 
commendation of the great officers of the kingdom, 
and by the advice of the judges, who are presumed 
to be well read in the condition of the gentry of the 
whole kingdom : and although the king may do it of 
himself, yet the old way is the good way. 

21. But I utterly condemn the practice of the 
later times, which hath lately crept into the court, at 



the back-stairs, that some who are pricked for sheriffs, 
and were fit, should get out of the hill ; and others 
who were neither thought upon, nor worthy to he, 
should be nominated, and both for money. 

22. I must not omit to put you in mind of the 
lords lieutenants and deputy lieutenants of the coun 
ties : their proper use is for ordering the military af 
fairs, in order to an invasion from abroad, or a rebel 
lion or sedition at home ; good choice should be made 
of them, and prudent instructions given to them, and 
as, little of the arbitrary power, as may be, left unto 
them ; and that the muster-masters, and other offi 
cers under them, incroach not upon the subject ; that 
will detract much from the king s service. 

23. The justices of peace are of great use. An 
ciently, there were conservators of the peace ; these 
are the same, saving that several acts of parliament 
have altered their denomination, and enlarged their 
jurisdiction in many particulars : the fitter they are 
for the peace of the kingdom, the more heed ought 
to be taken in the choice of them. 

24. But negatively, this I shall be bold to say, that 
none should be put into either of those commissions 
with an eye of favour to their persons, to give them 
countenance or reputation in the places where they 
live, but for the king s service sake ; nor any put out 
for the disfavour of any great man : it hath been too 
often used, and hath been no good service to the king. 

25. A word more, if you please to give me leave, 
for the true rules of moderation of justice on the 
king s part. The execution of justice is committed 


to his judges, which seemeth to be the severer part ; 
but the milder part, which is mercy, is wholly left in 
the king s immediate hand : and justice and mercy 
are the true supporters of his royal throne. 

26. If the king shall be wholly intent upon jus 
tice, it may appear with an over-rigid aspect ; but 
if he shall be over-remiss and easy, it draweth upon 
him contempt. Examples of justice must be made 
sometimes for terror to some ; examples of mercy 
sometimes, for comfort to others ; the one procures 
fear, and the other love. A king^must be both feared 
and loved, else he is lost. 

27. The ordinary courts of justice I have spoken 
of, and of their judges and judicature : I shall put 
you in mind of some things touching the high court 
of parliament in England, which is superlative ; and 
therefore it will behove me to speak the more warily 

28. For the institution of it, it is very ancient in 
this kingdom : it consisteth of the two houses, of 
peers and commons, as the members ; and of the 
king s majesty, as the head of that great body : by 
the king s authority alone, and by his writs, they are 
assembled, and by him alone are they prorogued and 
dissolved ; but each house may adjourn itself. 

29. They being thus assembled, are more pro 
perly a council to the king, the great council of the 
kingdom, to advise his majesty in those things of 
weight and difficulty, which concern both the king 
and people, than a court. 

30. No new laws can be made, nor old laws 


abrogated or altered, but by common consent in 
parliament, where bills are prepared and present 
ed to tbe two houses, and then delivered, but nothing 
is concluded but by the king s royal assent ; they 
are but embryos, it is he giveth life unto them. 

31. Yet the house of peers hath a power of judi 
cature in some cases : properly to examine, and then 
to affirm ; or, if there be cause, to reverse the judg 
ments which have been given in the court of king s 
bench, which is the court of highest jurisdiction in 
the kingdom for ordinary judicature ; but in these 
cases it must be done by writ of error " in parlia- 
mento :" and thus the rule of their proceedings is not 
" absoluta potestas/ as in making new laws, in that 
conjuncture as before, but " limitata potestas," 
according to the known laws of the land. 

32. But the house of commons have only power 
to censure the members of their own house, in poiat 
of election, or misdemeanors in or towards that house ; 
and have not, nor ever had, power so much as to ad 
minister an oath to prepare a judgment. 

33. The true use of parliaments in this kingdom 
is very excellent ; and they would be often called, 
as the affairs of the kingdom shall require ; and con 
tinued as long as is necessary and no longer : for 
then they be but burdens to the people, by reason 
of the privileges justly due to the members of the 
two houses and their attendants, which, their just 
rights and privileges are religiously to be observed 
and maintained : but if they should be unjustly 
enlarged beyond their true bounds, they might 


lessen the just power of the crown, it borders so 
near upon popularity. 

34. All this while I have spoken concerning the 
common laws of England, generally and properly so 
called, because it is most general and common to 
almost all cases and causes, both civil and criminal : 
but there is also another law, which is called the 
civil or ecclesiastical law, which is confined to some 
few heads, and that is not to be neglected : and 
although J am a professor of the common law, yet 
am I so much a lover of truth and of learning, and of 
my native country, that I do heartily persuade that 
the professors of that law, called civilians, because 
the civil law is their guide, should not be discounte 
nanced nor discouraged : else whensoever we shall 
have aught to do with any foreign king or state, we 
shall be at a miserable loss, for want of learned men 
in that profession, 

III. I come now to the consideration of those 
things which concern counsellors of state, the council 
table, and the great offices and officers of the king 
dom ; which are those who for the most part furnish 
out that honourable board. 

1. Of counsellors there are two sorts : the first, 
" consiliarii nati," as I may term them, such are the 
prince of Wales, and others of the king s sons, when 
he hath more, of these I speak not, for they are na 
turally born to be counsellors to the king, to learn 
the art of governing betimes. 

2. But the ordinary sort of counsellors are such 


as the king, out of a due consideration of their worth 
and abilities, and withal, of their fidelities to his 
person and to his crown, calleth to be of council 
with him in his ordinary government. And the 
council-table is so called from the place where they 
ordinarily assemble and sit together ; and their oath 
is the only ceremony used to make them such, which 
is solemnly given unto them at their first admission : 
these honourable persons are from thenceforth of that 
board and body : they cannot come until they be 
thus called, and the king at his pleasure may spare 
their attendance ; and he may dispense with their 
presence there, which at their own pleasure they 
may not do. 

3. This being the quality of their service, you 
may easily judge what care the king should use in 
his choice of them. It behoveth that they be per 
sons of great trust and fidelity, and also of wisdom 
and judgment, who shall thus assist in bearing up the 
king s throne, and of known experience in public 

4. Yet it may not be unfit to call some of young 
years, to train them up in that trade, and so fit them 
for those weighty affairs against the time of greater 
maturity, and some also for the honour of their per 
sons : but these two sorts are not to be tied to so 
strict attendance as the others, from whom the pre 
sent dispatch of business is expected. 

5. I could wish that their number might not be 
so over-great, the persons of the counsellors would 
be the more venerable : and I know that queen Eli- 


zabeth, in whose time I had the happiness to be born 
and to live many years, was not so much observed 
for having a numerous as a wise council. 

6. The duty of a privy-counsellor to a king, I 
conceive, is not only to attend the council-board at 
the times appointed, and there to consult of what 
shall be propounded ; but also to study those things 
which may advance the king s honour and safety, 
and the good of the kingdom, and to communicate 
the same to the king, or to his fellow-counsellors, as 
there shall be occasion. And this, Sir, will concern 
you more than others, by how much you have a 
larger share in his affections. 

7. And one thing I shall be bold to desire you 
to recommend to his majesty : that when any new 
thing shall be propounded to be taken into consider 
ation, that no counsellor should suddenly deliver any 
positive opinion thereof: it is not so easy with all 
men to retract their opinions, although there shall be 
cause for it : but only to hear it, and at the most but 
to break it, at first, that it may be the better under 
stood against the next meeting. 

8. When any matter of weight hath been de 
bated, and seemeth to be ready for a resolution ; I 
wish it may riot be at that sitting concluded, unless 
the necessity of the time press it, lest upon second 
cogitations there should be cause to alter ; which is 
not for the gravity and honour of that board. 

9. I wish also that the king would be pleased 
sometimes to be present at that board ; it adds a 
majesty to it: and yet not to be too frequently 


there ; that would render it less esteemed when it 
is become common : besides, it may sometimes make 
the counsellors not be so free in their debates in his 
presence as they would be in his absence. 

10. Besides the giving of counsel, the counsellors 
are bound by their duties " ex vi termini," as well as 
by their oaths, to keep counsel ; therefore are they 
called " de privato consilio regis," and " a secretiori- 
bus consiliis regis." 

1 1 . One thing I add, in the negative, which is 
not fit for that board, the entertaining of private 
causes of " meum et tuum ;" those should be left to 
the ordinary course and courts of justice. 

12. As there is great care to be used for the 
counsellors themselves to be chosen, so there is of 
the clerks of the council also, for the secreting of 
their consultations : and methinks, it were fit that 
his majesty be speedily moved to give a strict charge, 
and to bind it with a solemn order, if it be not al 
ready so done, that no copies of the orders of that 
table be delivered out by the clerks of the council 
but by the order of the board ; nor any, not being a 
counsellor, or a clerk of the council, or his clerk, to 
have access to the council books : and to that pur 
pose, that the servants attending the clerks of the 
council be bound to secrecy, as well as their masters. 

13. For the great offices and officers of the king 
dom, I shall say little ; for the most part of them are 
such as cannot well be severed from the counsellor- 
ship ; and therefore the same rule is to be observed 
for both, in the choice .of them. In the general, only, 


I advise this, let them be set in those places for which 
they are probably the most fit. 

14. But in the quality of the persons, I conceive 
it will be most convenient to have some of every sort, 
as in the time of queen Elizabeth it was : one bishop 
at the least, in respect of questions touching religion 
or Church government ; one or more skilled in the 
laws ; some for martial affairs ; and some for foreign 
affairs : by this mixture one will help another in all 
things that shall there happen to be moved. But if 
that should fail, it will be a safe way, to consult with 
some other able persons well versed in that point 
which is the subject of their consultation; which yet 
may be done so warily, as may not discover the 
main end therein. 

IV. IN the next place, I shall put you in mind of 
foreign negociations, and embassies to or with fo 
reign princes or states ; wherein I shall be little able 
to serve you. 

1. Only, I will tell you what was the course in 
the happy days of queen Elizabeth, whom it will be 
no dis-reputation to follow : she did vary, according 
to the nature of the employment, the quality of the 
persons she employed ; which is a good rule to 
go by. 

2. If it were an embassy of gratulation or cere 
mony, which must not be neglected, choice was made 
of some noble person eminent in place and able in 
purse ; and he would take it as a mark of favour, 


and discharge it without any great burden to the 
queen s coffers, for his own honour s sake. 

3. But if it were an embassy of weight, con 
cerning affairs of state, choice was made of some sad 
person of known judgment, wisdom, and experi 
ence; and not of a young man not weighed in state 
matters ; nor of a mere formal man, whatsoever his 
title or outside were. 

4. Yet in company of such, some young towardly 
noblemen or gentlemen were usually sent also, as 
assistants or attendants, according to the quality of 
the persons ; who might be thereby prepared and 
fitted for the like employment, by this means, at 
another turn. 

5. In their company were always sent some grave 
and sad men, skilful in the civil laws, and some in 
the languages, and some who had been formerly 
conversant in the courts of those princes, and knew 
their ways ; these were assistants in private, but not 
trusted to manage the affairs in public ; that would 
detract from the honour of the principal ambas 

6. If the negociation were about merchants af 
fairs, then were the persons employed for the most 
part doctors of the civil law, assisted with some other 
discreet men ; and in such, the charge was ordinarily 
defrayed by the company or society of merchants 
whom the negociation concerned. 

7. If lieger ambassadors or agents were sent to 
remain in or near the courts of those princes or 


states, as it was ever held fit, to observe the motions, 
and to hold correspondence with them, upon all 
occasions, such were made choice of as were pre 
sumed to be vigilant, industrious, and discreet men, 
and had the language of the place whither they were 
sent ; and with these were sent such as were hopeful 
to be worthy of the like employment at another 

8. Their care was, to give true and timely intel 
ligence of all occurrences, either to the queen herself, 
or to the secretaries of state, unto whom they had 
their immediate relation. 

9. Their charge was always borne by the queen, 
duly paid out of the exchequer, in such proportion, 
as, according to their qualities and places, might give 
them an honourable subsistence there : bat for the 
reward of their service, they were to expect it upon 
their return, by some such preferment as might be 
worthy of them, and yet be little burden to the 
queen s coffers or revenues. 

10. At their going forth they had their general 
instructions in writing, which might be communi 
cated to the ministers of that state whither they were 
sent ; and they had also private instructions upon 
particular occasions : and at their return, they did 
always render an account of some things to the 
queen herself, of some things to the body of the coun 
cil, and of some others to the secretaries of state ; 
who made use of them, or communicated them, as 
there was cause. 

11. In those days there was a constant course 


held, that by the advice of the secretaries, or some 
principal counsellors, there were always sent forth 
into several parts beyond the seas some young men, 
of whom good hopes were conceived of their toward- 
liness, to be trained up, and made fit for such public 
employments, and to learn the languages. This was 
at the charge of the queen, which was not much ; for 
they travelled but as private gentlemen : and as by 
their industry their deserts did appear, so were they 
farther employed or rewarded. This course I shall 
recommend unto you, to breed up a nursery of such 
public plants. 

V. FOR peace and war, and those things which 
appertain to either ; I in my own disposition and 
profession am wholly for peace, if please God to bless 
this kingdom therewith, as for many years past he 
hath done : and 

1 . I presume I shall not need to persuade you to 
the advancing of it ; nor shall you need to persuade 
the king your master therein, for that he hath hi 
therto been another Solomon in this our Israel, and 
the motto which he hath chosen, " Beati pacifici," 
shews his own judgment : but he must use the 
means to preserve it, else such a jewel may be 

2. God is the God of peace ; it is one of his attri 
butes, therefore by him alone we must pray, and 
hope to continue it : there is the foundation. 

3. And the king must not neglect the just ways 
for it ; justice is the best protector of it at home, 


and providence for war is the best prevention of it 
from abroad. 

4. Wars are either foreign or civil ; for the fo 
reign war by the king upon some neighbour nation, 
I hope we are secure ; the king in his pious and just 
disposition is not inclinable thereunto ; his empire 
is long enough, bounded with the ocean, as if the 
very situation thereof had taught the king and peo 
ple to set up their rests, and say, Ne plus ultra." 

5. And for a war of invasion from abroad ; only 
we must not be over-secure : that is the way to in 
vite it. 

6. But if we be always prepared to receive an 
enemy, if the ambition or malice of any should in 
cite him, we may be very confident we shall long 
live in peace and quietness, without any attempts 
upon us. 

7. To make the preparations hereunto the more 
assured : in the first place, I will recommend unto 
you the care of our out-works, the navy royal and 
shipping of our kingdom, which are the walls thereof: 
and every great ship is as an impregnable fort ; and 
our many safe and commodious ports and havens, in 
every of these kingdoms, are as the redoubts to se 
cure them. 

8. For the body of the ships, no nation of the 
world doth equal England for the oaken timber 
wherewith to build them ; and we need not borrow 
of any other iron for spikes, or nails, to fasten them 
together ; but there must be a great deal of provi- 


dence used, that our ship timber be not unnecessarily 

9. But for tackling, as sails and cordage, we are 
beholden to our neighbours for them, and do buy 
them for our money ; that must be foreseen and laid 
up in store against a time of need, and not sought 
for when we are to use them : but we are much to 
blame that we make them not at home ; only pitch 
and tar we have not of our own. 

10. For the true art of building of ships, for 
burden and service both, no nation in the world ex 
ceeds us ; ship-wrights and all other artisans belong 
ing to that trade must be cherished and encou 

11. Powder and ammunition of all sorts we can 
have at home, and in exchange for other home com 
modities we may be plentifully supplied from our 
neighbours, which must not be neglected. 

12. With mariners and seamen this kingdom is 
plentifully furnished : the constant trade of mer 
chandising will furnish us at a need ; and navigable 
rivers will repair the store, both to the navy royal 
and to the merchants, if they be set on work, and 
well paid for their labour. 

13. Sea captains and commanders, and other 
officers must be encouraged, and rise by degrees, as 
their fidelity and industry deserve it. 

[[Let brave spirits that have fitted themselves for 
command, either by sea or land, not be laid by, as 
persons unnecessary for the time : let arms and am- 


munition of all sorts be provided and stored up, as 
against a day of battle ; let the ports and forts be 
fitted so, as if by the next wind we should hear of 
an alarm ; such a known providence is the surest 
protection. But of all wars, let both prince and peo 
ple pray against a war in our own bowels : the king 
by his wisdom, justice, and moderation, must foresee 
and stop such a storm, and if it fall, must allay it; 
and the people by their obedience must decline it. 
And for a foreign war intended by an invasion to 
enlarge the bounds of our empire, which are large 
enough, and are naturally bounded with the ocean, 
I have no opinion either of the justness or fitness of 
it; and it were a very hard matter to attempt it 
with hope of success, seeing the subjects of this 
kingdom believe it is not legal for them to be en 
forced to go beyond the seas, without their own con 
sent, upon hope of an unwarranted conquest; but to 
resist an invading enemy, or to suppress rebels, the 
subject may and must be commanded out of the coun 
ties where they inhabit. The whole kingdom is but 
one intire body ; else it will necessarily be verified, 
which elsewhere was asserted, " Dum singuli pug- 
namus, omnes vincimur."] 

14. Our strict league of amity and alliance with 
our near neighbours the Hollanders is a mutual 
strength to both ; the shipping of both, in conjunc 
ture, being so powerful, by God s blessing, as no 
foreigners will venture upon ; this league and friend 
ship must inviolably be observed. 


15. From Scotland we have had in former times 
some alarms, and inroads into the northern parts of 
this kingdom ; but that happy union of both king 
doms under one sovereign, our gracious king, I hope, 
hath taken away all occasions of breach between the 
two nations. Let not the cause arise from England, 
and I hope the Scots will not adventure it ; or if 
they do, I hope they will find, that although to our 
king they were his first-born subjects, yet to Eng 
land belongs the birthright : but this should not be 
any cause to offer any injury to them, nor to suffer 
any from them. 

16. There remains then no danger, by the bless 
ing of God, but a civil war, from which God of his 
mercy defend us, as that which is most desperate of 
all others. The king s wisdom and justice must 
prevent it, if it may be ; or if it should happen, " quod 
absit," he must quench that wild-fire with all the dili 
gence that possibly can be. 

17. Competition to the crown there is none, nor 
can be, therefore it must be a fire within the bowels, 
or nothing ; the cures whereof are these, " reme- 
dium praeveniens," which is the best physic, either to 
a natural body, or to a state, by just and equal go 
vernment to take away the occasion ; and " reme- 
dium puniens," if the other prevail not : the service 
and vigilancy of the deputy lieutenants in every 
county, and of the high sheriff, will contribute much 
herein to our security. 

1 8. But if that should not prevail, by a wise and 


timous inquisition, the peccant humours and humo 
rists must be discovered, and purged, or cut off; 
mercy, in such a case, in a king is true cruelty. 

19. Yet if the heads of the tribes can be taken 
off, and the misled multitude will see their error, 
and return to their obedience, such an extent of 
mercy is both honourable and profitable. 

20. A king, against a storm, must foresee to have 
a convenient stock of treasure ; and neither be with 
out money, which is the sinews of war, nor to de 
pend upon the courtesy of others, which may fail at 
a pinch. 

21. He must also have a magazine of all sorts, 
which must be had from foreign parts, or provided 
at home, and to commit them to several places, under 
the custody of trusty and faithful ministers and offi 
cers, if it be possible. 

22. He must make choice of expert and able com 
manders to conduct and manage the war, either 
against a foreign invasion, or a home rebellion ; which 
must not be young and giddy, which dare, not only 
to fight, but to swear, and drink, and curse, neither 
fit to govern others, nor able to govern themselves. 

23. Let not such be discouraged, if they deserve 
well, by misinformation, or for the satisfying the hu 
mours or ambition of others, perhaps out of envy, 
perhaps out of treachery, or other sinister ends. A 
steady hand in governing of military affairs is more 
requisite than in times of peace, because an error 
commuted in war, may perhaps, prove irremedi 

VOL. vi. F F 


24. If God shall bless these endeavours, and the 
king return to his own house in peace, when a civil 
war shall be at an end, those who have been found 
faithful in the land must be regarded, yea, and re 
warded also ; the traitorous, or treacherous, who have 
misled others, severely punished ; and the neutrals 
and false-hearted friends and followers, who have 
started aside like a broken bow, be noted " carbone 
nigro." And so I shall leave them, and this part of 
the work. 

VI. I COME to the sixth part, which is trade ; 
and that is either at home or abroad. And I begin 
with that which is at home, which enableth the 
subjects of the kingdom to live, and layeth a foun 
dation to a foreign trade by traffic with others, which 
enableth them to live plentifully and happily. 

1. For the home trade, I first, commend unto 
your consideration the encouragement of tillage, 
which will enable the kingdom for corn for the 
natives, and to spare for exportation : and I myself 
have known, more than once, when, in times of 
dearth, in queen Elizabeth s days, it drained much 
coin of the kingdom, to furnish us with corn from 
foreign parts. 

2. Good husbands will find the means, by good 
husbandry, to improve their lands, by lime, chalk, 
marl, or sea-sand, where it can be had : but it will 
not be amiss, that they be put in mind thereof, and 
encouraged in their industries. 

3. Planting of orchards, in a soil and air fit for 


them is very profitable, as well as pleasurable ; cyder 
and perry are notable beverages in sea voyages. 

4. Gardens are also very profitable, if planted 
with artichokes, roots, and such other things as are 
fit for food ; whence they be called kitchen gardens, 
and that very properly. 

5. The planting of hop-yards, sowing of woad 
and rape seed, are found very profitable for the 
planters, in places apt for them, and consequently 
profitable for the kingdom, which for divers years 
was furnished with them from beyond the seas. 

6. The planting and preserving of woods, espe 
cially of timber, is not only profitable, but commend 
able, therewith to furnish posterity, both for building 
and shipping. 

7. The kingdom would be much improved by 
draining of drowned lands, and gaining that in from 
the overflowing of salt waters and the sea, and from 
fresh waters also. 

8. And many of those grounds would be exceed 
ing fit for dairies, which, being well housewived, are 
exceeding commodious. 

9. Much good land might be gained from forests 
and chases, more remote from the king s access, and 
from other commonable places, so as always there be 
a due care taken, that the poor commoners have no 
injury by such improvement, 

10. The making of navigable rivers would be very 
profitable ; they would be as so many in-draughts of 
wealth, by conveying of commodities with ease from 
place to place. 


1 1 . The planting of hemp and flax would be an 
unknown advantage to the kingdom, many places 
therein being as apt for it, as any foreign parts. 

12. But add thereunto, that if it be converted 
into linen-cloth or cordage, the commodity thereof 
will be multiplied. 

13. So it is of the wools and leather of the king 
dom, if they be converted into manufactures. 

14. Our English dames are much given to the 
wearing of costly laces ; and, if they be brought from 
Italy, or France, or Flanders, they are in great 
esteem ; whereas, if the like laces were made by the 
English, so much thread as would make a yard of 
lace, being put into that manufacture, would be five 
times, or, perhaps, ten or twenty times the value. 

15. The breeding of cattle is of much profit, 
especially the breed of horses, in many places, not 
only for travel, but for the great saddle ; the English 
horse, for strength, and courage, and swiftness to 
gether, not being inferior to the horses of any other 

16. The minerals of the kingdom, of lead, iron, 
copper, and tin, especially, are of great value, and 
set many able-bodied subjects on work; it were 
great pity they should not be industriously followed. 

17. But of all minerals, there is none like to that 
of fishing, upon the coasts of these kingdoms, and 
the seas belonging to them : our neighbours, within 
half a day s sail of us, with a good wind, can shew 
us the use and value thereof; and, doubtless, there 


I is sea-room enough for both nations without offend 
ing one another ; and it would exceedingly support 
[ the navy. 

18. This realm is much enriched, of late years, 
by the trade of merchandise which the English drive 
in foreign parts ; and, if it be wisely managed, it 
must of necessity very much increase the wealth 
thereof: care being taken, that the exportation ex 
ceed in value the importation: for then the balance 
of trade must of necessity be returned in coin or 

19. This would easily be effected, if the mer 
chants were persuaded or compelled to make their 
returns in solid commodities, and not too much 
thereof in vanity, tending to excess, 

20. But especially care must be taken, that 
monopolies, which are the cankers of all trading, 
be not admitted under specious colours of public 

2 1 . To put all these into a regulation, if a con 
stant commission to men of honesty and understand 
ing were granted, and well pursued, to give order 
for the managing of these things, both at home and 
abroad, to the best advantage ; and that this com 
mission were subordinate to the council-board ; it is 
conceived it would produce notable effects. 

VII. THE next thing is that of colonies and foreign 
plantations, which are very necessary, as outlets, to 
a populous nation, and may be profitable also if they 
be managed in a discreet way. 


1. First, in the choice of the place, which re- 
quireth many circumstances ; as, the situation, near 
the sea, for the commodiousness of an intercourse 
with England ; the temper of the air and climate, as 
may best agree with the bodies of the English, rather 
inclining to cold than heat ; that it be stored with 
woods, mines, and fruits, which are naturally in the 
place ; that the soil be such as will probably be 
fruitful for corn, and other conveniencies, and for 
breeding of cattle ; that it hath rivers, both for pas 
sage between place and place, and for fishing also, if 
it may be ; that the natives be not so many, but that 
there may be elbow-room enough for them, and for 
the adventives also : all which are likely to be found 
in the West-Indies. 

2. It should be also such as is not already planted 
by the subjects of any Christian prince or state, nor 
over-nearly neighbouring to their plantation. And 
it would be more convenient, to be chosen by some 
of those gentlemen or merchants which move first 
in the work, than to be designed unto them from 
the king ; for it must proceed from the option of the 
people, else it sounds like an exile ; so the colonies 
must be raised by the leave of the king, and not by 
his command. 

3. After the place is made choice of, the first 
step must be, to make choice of a fit governor ; who 
although he have not the name, yet he must have 
the power of viceroy ; and if the person who princi* 
pally moved in the work be not fit for that trust, yet 
he must not be excluded from command ; but then 


his defect in the governing part must be supplied by 
such assistants as shall be joined with him, or as he 
shall very well approve of. 

4. As at their setting out they must have their 
commission or letters patents from the king, that so 
thay may acknowledge their dependency upon the 
crown of England, and under his protection ; so they 
must receive some general instructions, how to dis 
pose of themselves when they come there, which 
must be in nature of laws unto them. 

5. But the general law, by which they must be 
guided and governed, must be the common law of 
England ; and to that end, it will be fit that some 
man reasonably studied in the law, and otherwise 
qualified for such a purpose, be persuaded, if not 
thereunto inclined of himself, which were the best, to 
go thither as chancellor amongst them, at first ; and 
when the plantation were more settled, then to have 
courts of justice there as in England. 

6. At the first planting, or as soon after as they 
can, they must make themselves defensible both 
against the natives and against strangers ; and to 
that purpose they must have the assistance of some 
able military man, and convenient arms and ammu 
nition for their defence. 

7. For the discipline of the Church in those 
parts, it will be necessary, that it agree with that 
which is settled in England, else it will make a 
schism and a rent in Christ s coat which must be 
seamless; and, to that purpose, it will be fit, that 
by the king s supreme power in causes ecclesiastical, 


within all his dominions ; they be subordinate under 
some bishop and bishoprick of this realm. 

g. For the better defence against a common 
enemy, I think it would be best, that foreign plan 
tations should be placed in one continent, and near 
together ; whereas, if they be too remote, the one 
from the other, they will be disunited, and so the 

9. They must provide themselves of houses, such 
as for the present they can, and, at more leisure, 
such as may be better ; and they first must plant for 
corn and cattle, &c. for food and necessary suste 
nance ; and after, they may enlarge themselves for 
those things which may be for profit and pleasure, 
and to traffick withal also. 

10. Woods for shipping, in the first place, may 
doubtless be there had, and minerals there found, 
perhaps, of the richest ; howsoever, the mines out of 
the fruits of the earth, and seas and waters adjoin 
ing, may be found in abundance. 

11. In a short time they may build vessels and 
ships also, for traffick with the parts near adjoining, 
and with England also, from whence they may be 
furnished with such things as they may want, and, 
in exchange or barter, send from thence other things, 
with which quickly, either by nature or art, they may 

12. But these things would by all means be 
prevented ; that no known bankrupt, for shelter ; 
nor known murderer or other wicked person, to 
avoid the law ; nor known heretic or schismatic, be 


suffered to go into those countries ; or, if they do 
creep in there, not to be harboured or continued : 
else, the place would receive them naught, and 
return them into England, upon all occasions, worse. 

13. That no merchant, under colour of driving a 
trade thither or from thence, be suffered to work 
upon their necessities. 

14. And that to regulate all these inconveni 
ences, which will insensibly grow upon them, that 
the king be pleased to erect a subordinate council in 
England, whose care and charge shall be, to advise, 
and put in execution, all things which shall be found 
fit for the good of those new plantations ; who, upon 
all occasions, shall give an account of their proceed 
ings to the king, or to the council-board, and from 
them receive such directions as may best agree with 
the government of that place. 

15. That the king s reasonable profit be not neg 
lected, partly upon reservation of moderate rents 
and services ; and partly upon customs ; and partly 
upon importation and exportation of merchandise ; 
which for a convenient time after the plantation 
begin, would be very easy, to encourage the work : 
but, after it is well settled, may be raised to a consi 
derable proportion, worthy the acceptation. 

[Yet these cautions are to be observed in these 

1. That no man be compelled to such an em 
ployment; for that were a banishment, and not a 
service fit for a free man. 

2. That if any transplant themselves into plan- 


tations abroad, who are known schismatics, out 
laws, or criminal persons, that they be sent for 
back upon the first notice ; such persons are not fit 
to lay the foundation of a new colony. 

3. To make no extirpation of the natives under 
pretence of planting religion : God surely will no 
way be pleased with such sacrifices. 

4. That the peeple sent thither be governed 
according to the laws of this realm, whereof they are, 
and still must be subjects. 

5. To establish there the same purity of reli 
gion, and the same discipline for Church govern 
ment, without any mixture of popery or anabaptism, 
lest they should be drawn into factions and schisms, 
and that place receive them there bad, and send 
them back worse. 

6. To employ them in profitable trades and ma 
nufactures, such as the clime will best fit, and such 
as may be useful to this kingdom, and return to 
them an exchange of things necessary. 

7. That they be furnished and instructed for the 
military part, as they may defend themselves ; lest, 
on a sudden, they be exposed as a prey to some other 
nation, when they have fitted the colony for them. 

8. To order a trade thither, and thence, in such 
a manner as some few merchants and tradesmen, 
under colour of furnishing the colony with necessa 
ries, may not grind them, so as shall always keep 
them in poverty* 

9. To place over them such governors as may 
be qualified in such manner as may govern the place, 
and lay the foundation of a new kingdom. 


10. That care be taken, that when the industry 
of one man hath settled the work, a new man, by 
insinuation or misinformation, may not supplant him 
without a just cause, which is the discouragement of 
all faithful endeavours, 

11. That the king will appoint commissioners 
in the nature of a council, who may superintend the 
works of this nature, and regulate what concerns the 
colonies, and give an account thereof to the king, or 
to his council of state. 

Again, For matter of trade, I confess it is out of 
my profession ; yet in that I shall make a conjecture 
also, and propound some things to you, whereby, if I 
am not much mistaken, you may advance the good of 
your country and profit of your master. 

1. Let the foundation of a profitable trade be 
thus laid, that the exportation of home commodities 
be more in value than the importation of foreign ; so 
we shall be sure that the stocks of the kingdom shall 
yearly increase, for then the balance of trade must be 
returned in money or bullion. 

2. In the importation of foreign commodities, let 
not the merchant return toys and vanities, as some 
times it was elsewhere apes and peacocks, but solid 
merchandise, first for necessity, next for pleasure, but 
not for luxury. 

3. Let the vanity of the times be restrained, 
which the neighbourhood of other nations have in 
duced ; and we strive apace to exceed our pattern; let 
vanity in apparel, and, which is more vain, that of 


the fashion, be avoided. I have heard, that in Spain, 
a grave nation, whom in this I wish we might imitate, 
they do allow the players and courtesans the vanity 
of rich and costly clothes ; but to sober men and 
matrons they permit it not upon pain of infamy ; a 
severer punishment upon ingenuous natures than a 
pecuniary mulct. 

4. The excess of diet in costly meats and drinks 
fetched from beyond the seas would be avoided ; wise 
men will do it without a law, I would there might be 
a law to restrain fools. The excess of wine costs the 
kingdom much, and returns nothing but surfeits and 
diseases ; were we as wise as easily we might be, 
within a year or two at the most, if we would needs 
be drunk with wines, we might be drunk with half 
the cost. 

5. If we must be vain and superfluous in laces 
and embroideries, which are more costly than either 
warm or comely, let the curiosity be the manufacture 
of the natives ; then it should not be verified of us, 
" materiam superabat opus." 

6. But instead of crying up all things, which are 
either brought from beyond sea, or wrought here by 
the hands of strangers, let us advance the native 
commodities of our own kingdom, and employ our 
countrymen before strangers ; let us turn the wools 
of the land into clothes and stuffs of our own growth, 
and the hernp and flax growing here into linen cloth 
and cordage; it would set many thousand hands 
on work, and thereby one shilling worth of the ma- 


terials would by industry be multiplied to five, ten, 
and many times to twenty times more in the value 
being wrought. 

7. And of all sorts of thrift for the public good, 
I would above all others commend to your care the 
encouragement to be given to husbandry, and the 
improving of lands for tillage; there is no such 
usury as this. The king cannot enlarge the bounds 
of these islands, which make up his empire, the ocean 
being the uriremoveable wall which incloseth them ; 
but he may enlarge and multiply the revenue thereof 
by this honest and harmless way of good husbandry. 

8. A very great help unto trade are navigable 
rivers ; they are so many indraughts to attain 
wealth ; wherefore by art and industry let them be 
made ; but let them not be turned to private profit, 

9. In the last place, I beseech you, take into your 
serious consideration that Indian wealth, which this 
island and the seas thereof excel in, the hidden and 
rich treasure of fishing. Do we want an example to 
follow ? I may truly say to the English, " Go to the 
pismire, thou sluggard." I need not expound the 
text : half a day s sail with a good wind, will shew 
the mineral and the miners. 

10. To regulate all these it will be worthy the care 
of a subordinate council, to whom the ordering of 
these things may be committed, and they give an 
account thereof to the state.] 

VIII. I COME to the last of those things which 
I propounded, which is, the court and curiality. 


The other did properly concern the king, in his 
royal capacity, as " pater patriae ;" this more properly 
as " pater-familias :" and herein, 

1. I shall, in a word, and but in a word only, put 
you in mind, that the king in his own person, both in 
respect of his household or court, and in respect of 
his whole kingdom, for a little kingdom is but as a 
great household, and a great household as alittle king 
dom, must be exemplary, " Regis ad exemplum, &c." 
But for this, God be praised, our charge is easy ; for 
our gracious master, for his learning and piety, justice 
and bounty, may be, and is, not only a precedent to 
his own subjects, but to foreign princes also ; yet 
he is still but a man, and seasonable " mementos" 
may be useful ; and, being discreetly used, cannot but 
take well with him. 

2. But your greatest care must be, that the great 
men of his court, for you must give me leave to be 
plain with you, for so is your injunction laid upon me, 
yourself in the first place, who are first in the eye of 
all men, give no just cause of scandal ; either by light, 
or vain, or by oppressive carriage. 

3. The great officers of the king s household had 
need be both discreet and provident persons, both for 
his honour and for his thrift ; they must look both 
ways, else they are but half-sighted : yet in the choice 
of them there is more latitude left to affection, than 
in the choice of counsellors, and of the great officers 
of state, before touched, which must always be made 
choice of merely out of judgment; for in them the 
public hath a great interest. 


[And yet in these, the choice had need be of honest 
and faithful servants, as well as of comely outsides, 
who can bow the knee, and kiss the hand, and per 
form other services, of small importance compared 
with this of public employment. King David, Psal. 
ci. 6) 7, propounded a rule to himself for the choice 
of his courtiers. He was a wise and a good king ; 
and a wise and a good king shall do well to follow 
such a good example ; and if he find any to be 
faulty, which perhaps cannot suddenly be discovered, 
let him take on him this resolution as king David 
did, " There shall no deceitful person dwell in my 
house." But for such as shall bear office in the 
king s house, and manage the expences thereof, 
it is much more requisite to make a good choice 
of such servants, both for his thrift and for his 

4 . For the other ministerial officers in court, as, 
for distinction sake, they may be termed, there must 
also be an eye unto them and upon them. They 
have usually risen in the household by degrees, and it 
is a noble way, to encourage faithful service : but the 
king must not bind himself to a necessity herein, for 
then it will be held " ex debito :" neither must he 
alter it, without an apparent cause for it : but to dis 
place any who are in, upon displeasure, which for the 
most part happeneth upon the information of some 
great man, is by all means to be avoided, unless there 
be a manifest cause for it. 

5. In these things you may sometimes interpose, 
to do just and good offices ; but for the general, I 


should rather advise, meddle little, but leave the 
ordering of those household affairs to the white- 
staffs, which are those honourable persons, to whom it 
properly belongeth to be answerable to the king for it ; 
and to those other officers of the green-cloth, who are 
subordinate to them, as a kind of council, and a court 
of justice also. 

6. Yet for the green-cloth law, take it in the 
largest sense, I have no opinion of it, farther than it 
is regulated by the just rules of the common laws of 

7. Towards the support of his majesty s own 
table, and of the prince s, and of his necessary officers, 
his majesty hath a good help by purveyance, which 
justly is due unto him ; and, if justly used, is no great 
burden to the subject ; but by the purveyors and 
other under-officers is many times abused. In many 
parts of the kingdom, I think, it is already reduced 
to a certainty in money ; and if it be indifferently 
and discreetly managed, it would be no hard matter 
to settle it so throughout the whole kingdom ; 
yet to be renewed from time to time : for that will 
be the best and safest, both for the king and 

8. The king must be put in mind to preserve the 
revenues of his crown, both certain and casual, with 
out diminution, and to lay up treasure in store against 
a time of extremity ; empty coffers give an ill sound, 
and make the people many times forget their duty, 
thinking that the king must be beholden to them for 
his supplies. 


9. I shall by no means think it fit, that he reward 
any of his servants with the benefit of forfeitures, 
either by fines in the court of Star-chamber, or high 
commission courts, or other courts of justice, or that 
they should be farmed out, or bestowed upon any, so 
much as by promise, before judgment given ; it would 
neither be profitable nor honourable. 

10. Besides matters of serious consideration, in 
the courts of princes, there must be times for pastimes 
and disports : when there is a queen and ladies of 
honour attending her, there must sometimes be 
masques, and revels, and interludes ; and when 
there is no queen, or princess, as now ; yet at festi 
vals, and for entertainment of strangers, or upon 
such occasions, they may be fit also : yet care would 
be taken, that in such cases they be set off more 
with wit and activity than with costly and wasteful 

11. But for the king and prince, and the lords 
and chivalry of the court, I rather commend, in their 
turns and seasons, the riding of the great horse, the 
tilts, the barriers, tennis, and hunting, which are more 
for the health and strength of those who exercise 
them, than in an effeminate way to please themselves 
and others. 

And now the prince groweth up fast to be a man, 
and is of a sweet and excellent disposition ; it would 
be an irreparable stain and dishonour upon you, hav 
ing that access unto him, if you should mislead him, 
or suffer him to be misled by any loose or flattering 
parasites : the whole kingdom hath a deep interest 
VOL. vi. G G 


in his virtuous education ; and if you, keeping 
that distance which is fit, do humbly interpose 
yourself, in such a case he will one day give you 
thanks for it. 

12. Yet dice and cards may sometimes be used 
for recreation, when field-sports cannot be had ; but 
not to use it as a mean to spend the time, much less 
to mis-spend the thrift of the gamesters. 

SIR, I shall trouble you no longer ; I have run 
over these things as I first propounded them ; please 
you to make use of them, or any of them, as you shall 
see occasion ; or to lay them by, as you shall think 
best, and to add to them, as you daily may, out of 
your experience. 

I must be bold, again, to put you in mind of your 
present condition ; you are in the quality of a senti 
nel ; if you sleep, or neglect your charge, you are an 
undone man, and you may fall much faster than you 
have risen. 

I have but one thing more to mind you of, which 
nearly concerns yourself ; you serve a great and gra 
cious master, and there is a most hopeful young 
prince, whom you must not desert ; it behoves you 
to carry yourself wisely and evenly between them 
both : adore not so the rising son, that you forget 
the father, who raised you to this height ; nor be 
you so obsequious to the father, that you give just 
cause to the son to suspect that you neglect him : 
but carry yourself with that judgment, as, if it 
be possible, may please and content them both; 
which, truly, I believe, will be no hard matter 


for you to do : so may you live long beloved 
of both. 

[If you find in these or any other your observa 
tions, which doubtless are much better than these 
loose collections, any thing which you would have 
either the father or the son to take to heart, an admo 
nition from a dead author, or a caveat from an im 
partial pen, whose aim neither was nor can be taken 
to be at any particular by design, will prevail more 
and take better impression than a downright advice ; 
which perhaps may be mistaken as if it were spoken 

Thus may you live long an happy instrument for 
your king and country ; you shall not be a meteor 
or a blazing star, but " stella fixa :" happy here and 
more happy hereafter, " Deus manu sua te ducat:"] 
which is the hearty prayer of 

Your most obliged and devoted Servant. 








I BROUGHT before you the first sitting of this term 
the cause of duels ; but now this last sitting I shall 
bring before you a cause concerning the greatest 
duel which is in the Christian world, the duel and 
conflict between the lawful authority of sovereign 
kings, which is God s ordinance for the comfort of 
human society, and the swelling pride and usurpa 
tion of the see of Rome " in temporalibus," tending 
altogether to anarchy and confusion. Wherein if 
this pretence in the Pope of Rome, by cartels to make 
sovereign princes as the banditti, and to proscribe 
their lives, and to expose their kingdoms to prey ; if 
these pretences, I say, apd all persons that submit 
themselves to that part of the Pope s power in the 
least degree, be not by all possible severity repressed 


and punished, the state of Christian kings will be no 
other than the ancient torment described by the 
poets in the hell of the heathen ; a man sitting 
richly robed, solemnly attended, delicious fare, &c. 
with a sword hanging over his head, hanging by a 
small thread, ready every moment to be cut down 
by an accursing and accursed hand. Surely I had 
thought they had been the prerogatives of God 
alone, and of his secret judgments : " Solvam cin- 
gularegum," I will loosen the girdles of Kings; 
or again, " He poureth contempt upon princes ;" or, 
if I will give a king in my wrath, and take him away 
again in my displeasure ;" and the like : but if these 
be the claims of a mortal man, certainly they are but 
the mysteries of that person which " exalts himself 
above all that is called God, supra omne quod 
dicitur Deus." Note it well, not above God, 
though that in a sense be true, but above all 
that is called God ; that is, lawful kings and magis 

But, my lords, in this duel I find this Talbot, 
that is now before you, but a coward ; for he hath 
given ground, he hath gone backward and forward ; 
but in such a fashion, and with such interchange of 
repenting and relapsing, as I cannot tell whether it 
doth extenuate or aggravate his offence. If he shall 
more publicly in the face of the court fall and settle 
upon a right mind, I shall be glad of it ; and he that 
would be against the king s mercy, I would he 
might need the king s mercy : but nevertheless the 
court will proceed by rules of justice. 


The offence therefore wherewith I charge this 
Talbot, prisoner at the har, is this in brief and in 
effect : That he hath maintained, and maintaineth 
under his hand, a power in the Pope for deposing 
and murdering of kings. In what sort he doth this, 
when I come to the proper and particular charge, I 
will deliver it in his own words without pressing or 

But before I come to the particular charge of 
this man, I cannot proceed so coldly ; but I must 
express unto your lordships the extreme and immi 
nent danger wherein our dear and dread sovereign 
is, and in him we all ; nay, all princes of both reli 
gions, for it is a common cause, do stand at this day, 
by the spreading and inforcing of this furious and 
pernicious opinion of the pope s temporal power : 
which though the modest sort would blanch with the 
distinction of " in ordine ad spiritualia," yet that is 
but an elusion ; for he that maketh the distinction, 
will also make the case. This peril, though it be in 
itself notorious, yet because there is a kind of dul- 
ness, and almost a lethargy in this age, give me leave 
to set before you two glasses, such as certainly the 
like never met in one age ; the glass of France, and 
the glass of England. In that of France the trage 
dies acted and executed in two immediate kings ; in 
the glass of England, the same, or more horrible, 
attempted likewise in a queen and king immediate, 
but ending in a happy deliverance. In France, 
Henry III. in the face of his army, before the walls 
of Paris, stabbed by a wretched Jacobine friar. 


Henry IV. a prince that the French do surname the 
Great, one that had been a saviour and redeemer of 
his country from infinite calamities, and a restorer 
of that monarchy to the ancient state and splendor, 
and prince almost heroical, except it be in the 
point of revolt from religion, at a time when he 
was as it were to mount on horseback for the com 
manding of the greatest forces that of long time had 
been levied in France, this king likewise stilettoed 
by a rascal votary, which had been enchanted and 
conjured for the purpose. 

In England, queen Elizabeth, of blessed me 
mory, a queen comparable and to be ranked with 
the greatest kings, oftentimes attempted by like 
votaries, Sommervile, Parry, Savage, and others, 
but still protected by the watchman that slumbereth 
not. Again, our excellent sovereign king James, 
the sweetness and clemency of whose nature were 
enough to quench and mortify all malignity, and a 
king shielded and supported by posterity ; yet this 
king in the chair of Majesty, his vine and olive 
branches about him, attended by his nobles and third 
estate in parliament ; ready in the twinkling of an 
eye, as if it had been a particular dooms-day, to have 
been brought to ashes, dispersed to the four winds. 
I noted the last day, my lord chief justice, when he 
spake of this powder treason, he laboured for words ; 
though they came from him with great efficacy, yet 
he truly confessed, and so must all men, that that 
treason is above the charge and report of any words 


Now, my lords, I cannot let pass, but in these 
glasses which I spake of, besides the facts themselves 
and danger, to shew you two things ; the one, the 
ways of God Almighty, which turneth the sword of 
Rome upon the kings that are the vassals of Rome, 
and over them gives it power ; but protecteth those 
kings which have not accepted the yoke of his ty 
ranny, from the effects of his malice : the other, 
that, as I said at first, this is a common cause of princes ; 
it involveth kings of both religions ; and therefore 
his majesty did most worthily and prudently ring 
out the alarm-bell, to awake all other princes to 
think of it seriously, and in time. But this is a 
miserable case the while, that these Roman soldiers 
do either thrust the spear into the sides of God s 
anointed, or at least they crown them with thorns ; 
that is, piercing and pricking cares and fears, that 
they can never be quiet or secure of their lives or 
states. And as this peril is common to princes of 
both religions, so princes of both religions have been 
likewise equally sensible of every injury that touched 
their temporals. 

Thuanus reports in his story, that when the 
realm of France was interdicted by the violent pro 
ceedings of Pope Julius the second, the king, other 
wise noted for a moderate prince, caused coins of 
gold to be stamped with his own image, and this 
superscription, " Perdam nomen Babylonis e terra." 
Of which Thuanus saith, himself had seen divers 
pieces thereof. So as this catholic king was so 
much incensed at that time, in respect of the pope s 


usurpation, as he did apply Babylon to Rome. 
Charles the fifth, emperor, who was accounted one 
of the pope s best sons, yet proceeded in matter tem 
poral towards pope Clement with strange rigour : 
never regarding the pontificality, but kept him pri 
soner thirteen months in a pestilent prison ; and was 
hardly dissuaded by his council from having sent 
him captive into Spain; and made sport with the 
threats of Frosberg the German, who wore a silk 
rope under his cassock, which he would shew in all 
companies; telling them that he carried it to stran 
gle the pope with his own hands. As for Philip the 
fair, it is the ordinary example, how he brought 
pope Boniface the eighth to an ignominious end, 
dying mad and enraged ; and how he stiled his re 
script to the pope s bull, whereby he challenged 
his temporals, " Sciat fatuitas vestra," not your 
beatitude, but your stultitude ; a stile worthy to be 
continued in the like cases ; for certainly that claim 
is mere folly and fury. As for native examples, here 
it is too long a field to enter into them. Never 
kings of any nation kept the partition-wall between 
temporal and spiritual better in times of greatest 
superstition : I report me to king Edward I. that 
set up so many crosses, and yet crossed that part of 
the pope s jurisdiction, no man more strongly. But 
these things have passed better pens and speeches : 
here I end them. 

But now to come to the particular charge of this 
man, I must inform your lordships the occasion and 
nature of this offence : There hath been published 


lately to the world a work of Suarez a Portuguese, 
a professor in the university of Coimbra, a confident 
and daring writer, such an one as Tully describes in 
derision ; " nihil tarn verens, quam ne dubitare aliqua 
de re videretur :" one that fears nothing but this* 
lest he should seem to doubt of any thing. A fellow 
that thinks with his magistrality and gorfse quill to 
give laws and tnenages to crowns and sceptres. In 
this man s writing this doctrine of deposing or mur 
dering kings seems to come to a higher elevation 
than heretofore; and it is more arted and posi- 
tived than in others. For in the passages which 
your lordships shall hear read anon, I find three 
assertions which run not in the vulgar track, but 
are such as wherewith men s ears, as I suppose, 
are not much acquainted ; whereof the first is, 
That the pope hath a superiority over kings, as 
subjects, to depose them ; not only for spiritual crimes, 
as heresy and schism, but for faults of a temporal 
nature ; forasmuch as a tyrannical government 
tendeth ever to the destruction of souls. So by this 
position, kings of either religion are alike compre 
hended, and none exempted. The second, that after 
a sentence given by the pope, this writer hath defined 
of a series, or succession, or substitution of hangmen, 
or " bourreaux," to be sure, lest an executioner 
should fail. For he saith, That when a king is sen 
tenced by the pope to deprivation or death, the 
executioner, who is first in place, is he to whom the 
pope shall commit the authority, which may be a 
foreign prince, it may be a particular subject, it may 


be general, to the first undertaker. But if there be 
no direction or assignation in the sentence special or 
general, then, " de jure," it appertains to the next 
successor, a natural and pious opinion ; for commonly 
they are sons, or brothers, or near of kin, all is one : 
so as the successor be apparent ; and also that he be 
a catholic. But if he be doubtful, or that he be no 
catholic, then it devolves to the commonalty of the 
kingdom ; so as he will be sure to have it done by 
one minister or other. The third is, he distinguisheth 
of two kinds of tyrants, a tyrant in title, and a tyrant 
in regiment; the tyrant in regiment cannot be re 
sisted or killed without a sentence precedent by the 
pope ; but a tyrant in title may be killed by any 
private man whatsoever. By which doctrine he 
hath put the judgment of king s titles, which I will 
undertake are never so clean but that some vain 
quarrel or exception may be made unto them, upon 
the fancy of every private man ; and also couples 
the judgment and execution together, that he may 
judge him by a blow, without any other sentence. 

Your lordships see what monstrous opinions these 
are, and how both these beasts, the beast with seven 
heads, and the beast with many heads, pope and 
people, are at once let in, and set upon the sacred 
persons of kings. 

Now to go on with the narrative ; there was an 
extract made of certain sentences and portions of 
this book, being of this nature that I have set forth, 
by a great prelate and counsellor, upon a j ust occa 
sion ; and there being some hollowness and hesitation 


in these matters, wherein it is a thing impious to 
doubt, discovered and perceived in Talbot ; he was 
asked his opinion concerning these assertions, in the 
presence of the best ; and afterwards they were deli 
vered to him, that upon advice, and " sedato animo," 
he might declare himself. Whereupon, under his 
hand, he subscribes thus ; 

May it please your honourable good lordships : 
Concerning this doctrine of Suarez, I do perceive, by 
what I have read in this book, that the same doth con 
cern matter of faith, the controversy growing upon 
exposition of Scriptures and councils, wherein, being 
ignorant and not studied, I cannot take upon me to 
judge ; but I do submit my opinion therein to the judg 
ment of the catholic Roman church, as in all other 
points concerning faith I do. And for matter concern- 
ing my loyalty, I do acknowledge my Sovereign Liege 
Lord King James, to be lawful and undoubted King of 
all the kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland ; 
and I will bear true faith and allegiance to his Highness 
during my life. 


My lords, upon these words I conceive Talbot 
hath committed a great offence, and such a one, as if 
he had entered into a voluntary and malicious publi 
cation of the like writing, it would have been too 
great an offence for the capacity of this court. But 
because it grew by a question asked by a council of 
estate, and so rather seemeth, in a favourable con- 


struction, to proceed from a kind of submission to 
answer, than from any malicious or insolent will ; it 
was fit, according to the clemency of these times, to 
proceed in this manner before your lordships : and yet 
let the hearers take these things right ; for certainly, 
if a man be required by the council to deliver his 
opinion whether king James be king or no ? and he 
deliver his opinion that he is not, this is high treason : 
but I do not say that these words amount to that ; 
and therefore let me open them truly to your lord 
ships, and therein open also the understanding of 
the offender himself, how far they reach. 

My lords, a man s allegiance must be indepen 
dent and certain, and not dependent and conditional. 
Elizabeth Barton, that was called the holy maid of 
Kent, affirmed, that if king Henry VIII. did not take 
Catharine of Spain again to his wife within a twelve 
month, he should be no king : and this was treason. 
For though this act be contingent and future, yet 
the preparing of the treason is present. 

And in like manner, if a man should voluntarily 
publish or maintain, that whensoever a bull of depri 
vation shall come forth against the king, that from 
thenceforth he is no longer king ; this is of like na 
ture. But with this I do not charge you neither ; 
but this is the true latitude of your words, That if 
the doctrine touching the killing of kings be matter 
of faith, then you submit yourself to the judgment 
of the catholic Roman church : so as now, to do you 
right, your allegiance doth not depend simply upon 
a sentence of the pope s deprivation against the 


king ; but upon another point also, if these doctrines 
be already, or shall be declared to be matter of faith. 
But, my lords, there is little won in this : there may 
be some difference to the guilt of the party, but there 
is little to the danger of the king. For the same 
pope of Rome may, with the same breath, declare 
both. So as still, upon the matter, the king is made 
but tenant at will of his life and kingdoms ; and the 
allegiance of his subjects is pinned upon the pope s 
acts. And certainly, it is time to stop the current 
of this opinion of acknowledgment of the pope s 
power " in temporalibus ;" or else it will sap and 
supplant the seat of kings. And let it not be mis 
taken, that Mr. Talbot s offence should be no more 
than the refusing the oath of allegiance. For it is 
one thing to be silent, and another thing to affirm. 
As for the point of matter of faith, or not of faith, 
to tell your lordships plain, it would astonish a man 
to see the gulf of this implied belief. Is nothing 
excepted from it? If a man should ask Mr. Talbot, 
Whether he do condemn murder, or adultery, or 
rape, or the doctrine of Mahomet, or of Arius, 
instead of Suarez ? Must the answer be with this 
exception, that if the question concern matter of 
faith, as no question it doth, for the moral law is 
matter of faith, that therein he will submit himself 
to what the church shall determine ? And, no doubt, 
the murder of princes is more than simple murder. 
But to conclude, Talbot, I will do you this right, 
and I will not be reserved in this, but to declare 
that, that is true ; that you came afterwards to a 


better mind ; wherein if you had been constant, the 
king, out of his great goodness, was resolved not to 
have proceeded with you in course of justice ; but 
then again you started aside like a broken bow. So 
that by your variety and vacillation you lost the 
acceptable time of the first grace, which was not to 
have convented you. 

Nay, I will go farther with you : your last sub 
mission I conceive to be satisfactory and complete; 
but then it was too late, the king s honour was upon 
it ; it was published and a day appointed for hear 
ing ; yet what preparation that may be to the second 
grace of pardon, that I know not : but I know my 
lords, out of their accustomed favour, will admit you 
not only to your defence concerning that that hath 
been charged ; but to extenuate your fault by any 
submission that now God shall put into your mind 
to make. 


AARON S head compared to the King s house, 99. 
Abettors, an example to explain who are, 206. 
Absent person, how to act toward an 195. 
Abuses, their remedies sought, 6, 10, 11. 
Access, how to seek, 256. 
Admonition is better than advice, 451. 
^Esop s fly mentioned, 14. 
Affection and reason two forts, 14. 
Affection, Solomon s trial, 205. 
Allegiance is independent, 461. 
Ambition is often punished by treason, 301. 
Answer to Mr. Speaker Richardson s oration, 66. 
Apollonius the judgment, made of Nero, 40. 
Apprenticeship statute is a good statute, 101. 
Articles, 89, 408. 
Assassiu, origin of the word, 178. 
Augustine St. noticed, 7. 
Authority, abuse of like an armed hand, 100. 
Beauty and shelter of men s houses, timber trees are, 7. 
Best governments and best men like the best precious stones, 72. 
Body, humours resort to that part which is distempered in the, 79. 
Body when vapours glow in the, they may not go up to the head, 15. 
Bodies corrupt, how medicine acts in regard to, 280. 
Caesar, imagination a characteristic of, 27. 
Caesar s rule, noticed, 174. 
Cato s speech of the Romans applied, 19. 

Certificate a, touching scarcity of silver at the mint to the Lords of the Coun 
cil, 58. 
Charge upon the commission of Oyer and Terminer for the verge of the 

court, 85. 
Charge upon duels against Priest and Wright, 108. 

the benevolence against Mr. Oliver St. John, 188. 

traducing the King s justice in the Star-chamber against Mr, 
Lumsden, 158. 

the Lord Sanquhar, 167. 

Owen for high treason, 172. 

Frances Countess of Somerset, 181, 192. 

Robert Earl of Somerset, 201. 

William Talbot, 452. 

Chess, a pawn at, is much played upon, 271. 
Church of England is orthodox, 407. 
Civilians noticed, 28, 71, 119, 145, 421. 
Clemency of King James, mentioned, 405. 
Cobham, Lord, 188. 

466 INDEX. 

Colleges, noticed, 147, 411. 

Confession, corner stone on which justice and mercy may meet, 181. 

Confession of Thomas Lee, 364. 

James Knowd, 867. 

Sir Ferdinando Gorge, 369. 

Sir John Davis, 373. 

Sir Charles Davers, 375. 

Sir Christopher Blunt, 378, 391. 

William Lord Sandys, 888. 

The Earl of Essex, 397. 
Consent may end in discord, 59. 
Corn, where it ia to be grown, 434. 
Country, native love of, noticed, 248. 
Courtier a, studies men, 401. 
Cuffe, Henry, 321. 
Cyrus, 57. 

Declaration, a frame of, for the master of the wards, 32. 
Declaration of Sir William Warren, 365. 

Thomas Wood, 366. 

David Hethrington, 368. 

The Lord Keeper, earl of Worcester, and the lord chief 

justice, 382. 

Denial gentle is acceptable to suitors, 405. 
Desires surpass dissimulations, 803. 

Directions coming by a clear conduct do not tincture, 226. 
Directions for the master of the wards to observe, 35. 
Discord of men discovered, 294. 

Disputer subtle, will grant somewhat that seemeth to make against him, 77. 
Duel is against religion, law and moral virtue, 112. 

is plotting murder, 121. 
Duels, a charge touching, 108. 

a decree of the Star-chamber against, 125. 
Duty esteemed above credit, 248. 
Empirics, their manner of practising, noted, 269. 
Examination an, constructed, 58. 
Examination of Roger Earl of Rutland, 385. 
Lord Edw. Cromwell, 390. 
the Earl of Southampton, 892. 
Explanation, what manner of persons those should be that are to execute the 

power or ordinance, of the King s prerogativel 103. 
Essex, the Earl of, an apology in certain imputations concerning, 245. 
the proceedings of, 277. 
the matters charged against, 283. 
the treason, and his complices, 299. 
some particularities which passed after the arraignment 

of, 855, 342. 

Faith to offend against, noted, 96. 
Favours are not sanctuaries, 188. 

mistaken for wings of ambition^ 300. 

Fear of secrets being discovered hath cost many a man s life, 5415. 
Fees, 88. 

Fishing, noted, 436, 445. 
Forts of affection and reason, 14. 

Fortune, greatness of, commonly maketh grossness in offending 207. 
Friar Bacon s head, 263. 
Generous minds readily forgive, 168. 
Gluttony, 101, 
Golden time, 82. 
Goodness, praise belongeth to, 4. 
Green cloth law, 6, 448, 

INDEX. 467 

Guiltiness, 182. 

Harmony may end in discord, 39. 

Highways and bridges, 100. 

Highways, the king s, robbery on, 97. 

Honores mutant mores, 359. 

Honour, a false imagination, 111. 

Hostile kingeoms, four impediments to restrain, 78. 

House, a man defending his. noticed, 97. 

Husbandry commended, 445. 

Icarus likened to popular dependence, 251. 

Imagination is a great promiser, 302. 

Impoisonment is high treason, 156. 

its horrour, 204. 

Impotent minds unable to forgive, 168. 
Incense fit to burn, where evil odours have been raised, 146. 
Inclinations of men opened by a toy, 257. 
Indian fleet fired, cruelties upon the poor Indians, 80. 
Ingratitude often punished by ambition, 801. 
Invasion solicited is treason, 93. 
Ireland its civilization, noticed, 68. 
Jotham s parable likened to the House of Commons, 16. 
Judge, a good, pictured, 412. 

Judges stay should be longer on the circuit, 414. 

Judgment, no prejudice in, 158. 

Justice, reason for maintaining, 166. 

issues from virtue s shrine, 158. 

three cardinal virtues included in, 153. 

will not approve that which is wrong, 106. 

King a, as a protector described, 146. 

King s judgment as the sun, 23. 

Labour, not calculated by endurements, 291 . 

Lace, noticed, 436, 444. 

Lanthorn of justice, what is the, 202. 

Laws, a comment on, 71. 

Letter to Sir George Villiers about the Countess of Somerset, 240. 

the Earl of Somerset, 221, 226, 233. 
the King about the Earl of Somerset, 219, 228, 238. 

Liberty of speech to be used with respect, 74. 

Lie the, given, what it means, Solon s answer to, origin of, 119. 

Life, the subject has no power over his own, 133. 

Love old, is not easily to be forgotten, 267. 

Martial men violence towards, noticed, 801- 

Meats and drinks, how used by wise men, 444, 

Men half sighted, 446. 

Military men, 95. 

Mind? generous, readily forgive, 168. 

Murder committed for, lucre, envy, lust, revenge, money, 168, 190. 

Offences Oyer and Terminer present, 88. 

Offender, nobleness of an, to confess, 192. 

Opinion positive, not suddenly to be given, 423. 

Opinion, vulgar, depraved, concerning duels, 112. 

Orb, the King in his, 70. 

Orchards to be planted, 434. 

Order keeps the memory, 88. 

Overbury, an oracle to Robert, Earl of Somerset, 208. 
. Overbury, Sir Thomas, a description of, 156. 

People vulgar, led by prophecies, 95. 

Persons sent to the Earl of Essex, 834. 
Plantations, by what law to govern, 439. 

Powder- treason, 455. 

468 INDEX. 

Prerogative of the King is known to the subject, 103. 

Preservation and perfection compared to the vine and loadstone, 270. 

Prime Minister Sir George Villiers, advice to, 400. 

Prisoner cry of a, an allusion to Sir Thomas Overbury, 1 83. 

Rebellion, two opinions touching, 351. 

Right and left hand to set things on the, maketh distinctness, 18. 

Rivers compared to the Parliament, HO. 

Rome, see of usurpation, 93, 452. 

Rumour like Indian birds, 15. 

Safety to be preferred before increase, 77. 

Secret, impoisonment is, 205. 

Secret murders Mahometans detest, 178. 

Smother troubles an examination, 20. 

Snare, poison like a, 204. 

Solomon s temple likened to the beginning of a work, 31 . 

Solon s answer to the lie given, 119. 

Speaker Richardson s oration, an answer to, 66. 

Speech of Sir Christopher Blunt at his death, 393. 

Speech touching Purveyors, 8. 

the Undertakers, 13, 
the Parliamentary Grievances, 23. 
the Wards and Tenures, 26. 
the King s Messages by the Speaker, 39. 
the Impositions on Merchandises, 44. 
the Supply to King James, 56. 
the Speaker Richardson s excuse, 65. 
the Subsidy, 75. 

Speeches in Parliament, admonitory remarks on, 73. 
Spiders great, poison of, resembles pepper, 190. 

Subject, when he may be commanded from the country where he inhabits, 43 1 . 
Sun the, brings peace, so where a King comes there should come peace, 87. 
Suspicion, men over pi one to, 411. 
Time assuages all passions, 169, 
Tongue strings, not heart strings, may cause discord, 39. 

Tree of tenures planted by common law, 28. 

Trees timber, the beauty and shelter of men s houses, 7. 
Truth, testimony of, given in all places, 139. 

Tyrone, the rebel, 284. 

Union of sound judgment with zeal, noticed, 293. 

Unity alacrity and affection likened to crystal glass, 78. 

Universities in flower, 147, 41] . 

Villiers Sir George, advice to, 400. 
letter to, 240. 

Violence of the Earl of Essex, noticed, 301. 

Wards and Tenures, a speech touching, 26. 

Water, the saying of Pindarus concerning, applied, 11. 

Wisdom does not allow what is dangerous, 106. 

Wit, two ways to use, 48, 

Year and statute books must give place to French and Italian pamphlets, 111, 

Zeal with soundness of judgment united, 293. 


Thomas White, Printer, 
11, Crane Court. 

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